Buffy's Reviews > The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
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Oct 19, 11

Read in October, 2011

I was expecting this to be a character driven book, but it was written more like a light mystery. Having said that, the characters were good and I really enjoyed the themes of the story. Allen discussed the challenges of changing the labels we pick up in childhood and learning to accept that there might be some truth to those labels, which might not be too bad either. I also loved the discussion of the beauty of accepting and loving someone for who they are right now, rather than who they might be or, more likely, who you want them to be. There is a beauty of just letting people be who they are, of sitting back and watching them become themselves. I like what Willa said about Sebastian not reinventing himself, but rather becoming himself.

There was also a lot of discussion about charity beginning at home and the belief that how can people know the true meaning of charity when they aren't helping the people closest to themselves.

I think my absolute favorite part were Willa's thoughts right before she rescued Paxton. People have frequently challenged me on what they called my "feminist" baggage. I have been asked how can I feel so strongly about something when I haven't been discriminated against, raped, attacked etc in my own life. I would try to explain to them, badly, what the author here said perfectly: "All women remembered these things, even if they had never happened to them personally. It was a part of their collective unconscious." That is exactly how it feels...a collective memory bank that I was just born with, a memory bank of everything that happened to my mothers who came before and my sisters who are subjected to abuse now. It doesn't have to happen to you in order to hurt. I think the world would be a better place if everyone could "remember" the hurts of discrimination and intolerance and abuse that wasn't happening to them.

The only weird part about the book was Allen's attempt to bring magic into it. She didn't do it well or consistently. Alice Hoffman is the only author I've read who can blend reality and magic/fantasy seamlessly and believably.
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Adrienne Hi Buffy,

Some day we'll have to compare our feminist baggage.


Ruth Hey, Adrienne & Buffy,
I thought Buffy was like me because I somehow 'raised' her that way. Now, possibly it is a 'gift' our family has to suffer with those who have suffered and give voice to that pain or ill-use.

And, I agree. The author statement is a perfect description of why I feel ill-used when all the men (esp. my husband) in my life treat me well.


Adrienne Why, oh why, can't we have a little more geographic proximity so that we could have our own Hall-Wilde book club!!! Oh my gosh, I can imagine many happy hours with all of the interesting women in our families dissecting literature and family peculiarities. My sisters and my daughters would all love it.


Buffy That would be truly awesome. I am in desperate need of a book club.


Adrienne You DO need a book club! I'm in 3 book clubs and they are absolutely my favorite social events. It doesn't matter that I am terrible at small talk, because i am excellent at book talk! (I would rather scrub toilets than go to a cocktail party, but unfortunately my job requires occasional cocktail parties).

So, all you need to do is find 2 other women who like to read. Ask them to each bring 3 friends and voila! a book club! That is how my first book club got started 8 years ago. My two back-up, auxillary book clubs are: 1. A couples book club (awesome because its the only way I can get my husband to read books) and 2. A quasi-Relief Society book club--at least it started as a R.S. book club, but then we got booted out because some ladies were totally offended by any book that wasn't a church book or a children's book. So we had to go underground. Now its the rebel mormon book club. You'd probably like it.

At work, they keep pestering me to join the lunch-time book club, but I can't keep up with the reading I've already got to do!


Ruth I too love book clubs. We had one here in Beijing that was more of a tell about the book you just read, trade books and eat yummy food. But, alas, the turn over here is terrible. All the book people are gone and the new people seem to think the travel isn't worth the talk. Sad. Next year I'll be someplace different.


Ruth I just read this book. I liked the magic. Sometimes things happen that are Inexplicable. Why does everyone sucker into the con-mans lie? Why does jealousy override our common sense causing us to betray friendship? And yet, the happy ending. The magic in the book was a light, simple way of explaining how their lives just 'magically' work out for their good. Nothing great, but fun.


Buffy Hmm--I like that perspective on the magic. That makes sense. Sometimes the way we relate to each other, how friendship form and fall apart are very mysterious and seem like either good or bad magic must be involved. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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