Book Review: The Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper 
Narrated By: Karen White
Published By: Random House Audio
Publication Date: March 2011
Length: 7 hours, 43 minutes
Buy it at Amazon or IndieBound
Source: Library
Audience: Adult - Southern Fiction, Magical Realism

On the Story & Writing:

Southern Fiction has always been one of those genres that can draw me in. It brings me back to my roots and wraps me in humidity and sugary sweet tea. Strong writers in this field can make you feel the southern hospitality and they truly capture the essence of the place. Sarah Addison Allen is a master. The North Carolina towns in her stories come alive and are almost characters. Allen's writing is deliciously addictive.

The Peach Keeper has a little bit of everything I love in a good read: southern culture, good storytelling, supernatural elements, strong characters, and a dash of romance. Furthermore, Claire and Bay, from Garden Spells, make an appearance. Garden Spells is one of my favorite novels and I recommend reading it before this one. It wouldn't ruin anything for you to read The Peach Keeper first, but I enjoyed having the knowledge of Claire's story in my head as she interacted with Paxton.

I also love the amount of creativity and traditional southern folklore that go into these novels. It is obvious that Allen is a keen observer of the culture around her. She captures the essence beautifully. I also love the complexity of her characters. They are never perfect, but something about their imperfections makes them more real and likable. I often find myself wishing that I could live in one of Allen's books and The Peach Keeper is no exception. I loved Paxton and Willa; they'd make awesome friends. Furthermore, Walls of Water sounds like such a beautiful and interesting place to live. 

If you haven't read anything by Sarah Addison Allen, you're certainly missing out. Her writing will grab you from line one and refuse to let go. I've already reserved the audiobooks of The Sugar Queen and The Girl Who Chased the Moon because I just can't get enough of Allen's writing.

On the Audio:

Karen White did a great job with this one. I loved her voice and how she chose to bring each of the characters alive. I would highly recommend the audio version of this one. I also would have no reservations about listening to other books narrated by White. She was able to capture the southern feel with her voice and add a bit of her own magic to this wonderful story.

One Last Gripe: Paxton's mother drove me insane. I just had to roll my eyes anytime she was around. However, Allen was accurate in describing the overbearing southern mother.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The plot

First Sentence: The day Paxton Osgood took the box of heavy-stock, foil-lined envelopes to the post office, the ones she'd had a professional calligrapher address, it began to rain so hard the air turned as white as bleached cotton.

Favorite Character: Paxton

Least Favorite Character: Tucker

The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon welcomes you to her newest locale: 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.


  1. I just finished this yesterday, I loved it too. I agree about Paxton's mom. What a wench. When Pax said she was moving out and her mom was all "Paxton we've already discussed this." I was like SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE OLD LADY! I love all of Sarah Addison Allen's books. My favorite character was Willa :) Great review!

    Lindsey @

  2. @MamaMunky - Glad to hear you enjoyed it too. I thought the same thing when Paxton's mom was getting all grumpy about her moving out. I also hated how she treated Paxton anytime Sebastian was mentioned. Willa was a great character too! I loved her too, but just related to Paxton more. I picked up The Sugar Queen and The Girl Who Chased the Moon at the library today. I am excited to get started on them!

  3. I have this audiobook on my ipod and I can't wait to listen to it. I loved Garden Spells and I've heard such wonderful things about this book. I'm so happy to hear that Claire and Bay make an appearance. I've missed them.


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