Title: The Peach Keeper
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 4 out of 5
Willa Jackson has mixed feelings about the restoration of her family home – which they lost years ago due to financial constraints – by Paxton Osgood, scion of a prominent local family. On one hand, Willa has tried to move past her family’s scandals and establish her independence. But on the other, she can’t help but sneak up to the house and witness the transformation occurring before her eyes. When she unexpectedly meets Colin, Paxton’s brother, up at the site, it sets in motion a chain of events that will reveal the mysteries in Willa’s and Paxton’s pasts.
The Peach Keeper is a sweet novel about the power of friendship. Willa is a hard woman in many ways, which is understandable because she has been hurt in her past. She keeps everyone at arms length; she doesn’t have any real friends, but she’s okay with it. She doesn’t feel lonely. But when Colin and Paxton enter Willa’s life, she begins to realize that having people to rely on and confide in isn’t the worst thing.
Paxton, on the other hand, is constantly trying to live up to her mother’s expectations and demands. She lives in fear of disappointing those around her, so when she and Willa are thrown together, Paxton finds it refreshing to have someone who neither judges her nor expects her to be someone she’s not. The friendship these two women strikes up mirrors that of their grandmothers, and it’s this bond that helps Paxton and Willa when they begin their search for answers.
All in all, The Peach Keeper is a simple and fun summer read. The characters are endearing and the story is interesting. While not completely gripping, it held my attention and I read it in a single sitting. Sarah Addison Allen’s novels are always reliably fun reads, and I look forward to seeing what she does next.