Goodreads: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.
It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather during Walls of Water’s heyday, and once the town’s grandest home—has stood for years as a lonely monument to misfortune and scandal. And Willa herself has long strived to build a life beyond the brooding Jackson family shadow. No easy task in a town shaped by years of tradition and the well-marked boundaries of the haves and have-nots.
But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite do-gooder Paxton Osgood—of the very prominent Osgood family, has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory, with plans to open a top-flight inn. Maybe, at last, the troubled past can be laid to rest while something new and wonderful rises from its ashes. But what rises instead is a skeleton, found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, and certain to drag up dire consequences along with it.
For the bones—those of charismatic traveling salesman Tucker Devlin, who worked his dark charms on Walls of Water seventy-five years ago—are not all that lay hidden out of sight and mind. Long-kept secrets surrounding the troubling remains have also come to light, seemingly heralded by a spate of sudden strange occurrences throughout the town.
Now, thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the dangerous passions and tragic betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover truths of the long-dead that have transcended time and defied the grave to touch the hearts and souls of the living.
Resonant with insight into the deep and lasting power of friendship, love, and tradition, The Peach Keeper is a portrait of the unshakable bonds that—in good times and bad, from one generation to the next—endure forever.
Started this book over last night at work because I had barely gotten through the first chapter when circumstances forced me to stop. It was no reflection on the book, I promise.
I knew by the end of the third chapter that I was not going to get the book finished at work because I started it too late in the shift. As always, I promised myself that I would only read it for an hour when I got home but I ended up reading three hours until finished.
The story is an old one – people who have misconceptions about each other based on impressions they got during high school. It centers around four people in general: The Joker, the Stick Man, the Princess and the Freak which is actually the name of one of the chapters.
There isn’t much I didn’t like about the story. As usual, Allen weaves a touch of the magical through the book which I always find delightful. In fact, if it weren’t for the slightly magical tidbits she adds, I don’t know that I would read her. The stories are good but that little twist gives me an upbeat, warm feeling that there more to this wondrous world we live in. It enchants me.
In fact, that is my only complaint about this book – there wasn’t enough magic in it compared to her other books. The characters weren’t overly amazing as far as amazing characters go. It was hard not to like them and no doubt each reader will be able to identify with one more strongly than the others.
Overall, I liked the book and give it an A. I often recommend Allen to my friends and family as one of those writers who is perfect for a cold winter night or a day at the beach. You can sit back and enjoy the story from the first page all the way to the end – like a magical carpet ride.