I have to hand it to Sarah Addison Allen. What a heartfelt and “feel good” book to read! The Peach Keeper is uplifting, it made me laugh out loud, and cry like no tomorrow. There is no stronger message in this book than the importance of true friendship. Add to it some superstitions and a town ghost—and you have the makings for a wonderful story.
Willa Jackson and Paxton Osgood are acquainted with one another from high school, but they have no idea how close their grandmothers once were in this tiny town known as Walls of Water, North Carolina. Nor do they realize that their grandmothers’ past will bring them closer together, after a body is discovered under a peach tree that is being dug out to be replaced by a massive old oak tree.
The removal of the tree is to fix up the grounds where Willa’s great-great grandfather had built The Blue Ridge Madam in the 1800′s as a gift for his wife. In 1936, it became the heart of the newly formed Women’s Society Club, which was founded by Georgie Jackson and Agatha Osgood. Seventy-five years later, Paxton is the president of the Club and has plans to restore the building so that the 75th gala can be held there.
The ensuing relationships that form and the hidden secrets that are revealed, will make it hard for you to put the book down. I read this novel within three days and was enormously satisfied. I think we need more good stories such as this one to help us get through the day. It makes for a good light read.
I don’t know why I thought about The Help by Kathryn Stockett when reading Allen’s novel. Possibly because the theme of friendship rings throughout that book as well. Also, there is the whole Southern American little town, where everyone knows about everyone else and everything—not to mention the woman’s club that exists in there too. Hands up if The Peach Keeper strongly reminded you of the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. I never read the book and I had seen the movie a long time ago, but I particularly remember the scene where one woman helps her friend get out of an abusive relationship.
Did you read The Peach Keeper? How did you like it? If you didn’t read it yet, would it be the kind of book that interests you?
Next month’s title: The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay