Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen (audio book)

From the back of the audio case: Thirty-year-old Willa Jackson hails from a fine old Southern family that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam - once Walls of Water'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. But Willa has lately learned that an old classmate - socialite Paxton Osgood - has restored the Blue Ridge Madam to her former glory. Maybe 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. The bones are not all that lay hidden. 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, untied 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 to touch the hearts and souls of the living.

Read by: Karen White

My thoughts: This is the first book by Sarah Addison Allen that I've read (or in this case, listened to) and I loved it. The story had me hooked from the opening lines and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next, especially when the secrets started coming to light.

The Peach Keeper is set around The Blue Ridge Madam - a mansion in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina that was built by Willa Jackson's once well-to-do family. The house is being restored as a historic bed and breakfast by Paxton Osgood and along with the restoration comes the unearthing of some long-ago secrets. It also brings together four people who weren't exactly the best of friends in high school - Willa was the silent class joker; Paxton was the goody goody popular girl; Sebastian was the oddball outcast; and Colin, Paxton's twin, was the slightly stiff hunk.  Fast forward to today, when they are all in their 30s and their lives are now intertwined.

Filled with a little mystery, a little magic, and a little romance, it is easy to become completely absorbed in the story. The characters are truly likeable and I enjoyed how it goes back and forth between Willa and Paxton's point of view. I am definitely going to be picking up Sarah Addison Allen's other books - I have one sitting on my shelf and cannot wait to start reading it.

(I borrowed this audio book from the library.)


  1. I'm glad that you loved this one! My first Sarah Addison Allen book was The Girl Who Chased the Moon and I loved it (even a little more than I loved this one). And I've heard that Garden Spells is also fantastic.

    I love how she incorporates magical realism so well into her novels. She is definitely one of my favourite authors that I read in 2011!

    Bonnie @

  2. @Bonnie I have The Girl Who Chased the Moon on my book shelf just waiting to be read. Hopefully I will get to it soon!

  3. I discovered Sarah's books a couple of years ago and devoured everyone I could find. This one was a good one. Great review.

  4. I just read this a week or two ago and loved it. Glad you did as well. I've enjoyed all of her books.

  5. I love books with a twist. All of the books I've read by Sarah Addison Allen have a magical twist to the charaters. I've never been a big reader, but I couldn't put this book down until I finished it. She has the ability to make her stories come alive. Well worth your time, in my opinion.


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