The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The day Paxton Osgood mailed the invitations to the Walls of Water Women’s Society Club gala, it began to rain so hard the rivers flooded and the mail couldn’t be delivered. When the invitations were finally delivered, they went to the wrong addresses. Following their delivery into the right hands, an unusual number of people went to the doctor complaining of infected paper cuts because the envelopes had become super sealed due to the moisture in the air. It was almost as if someone, or something, did not want Paxton’s gala celebrating the 75th year of the Women’s Society Club to happen. Neither does Willa Jackson. Or at least she doesn’t want it to happen with her. Willa’s grandmother had been one of the founding members of the Club, but that was before her family had lost their fortune and prestige in the town. To make matters worse, the gala was to be held at the Blue Ridge Madam, the stately mansion on the hill that Willa’s family had built and lost. Now Willa runs the Au Natural Sporting Goods and Café and that is good enough for her. But past secrets and long buried truths are about to come to light that will change Willa’s and Paxton’s lives forever.
When first presented with this book to read, I resisted based solely on the cover. I know – don’t judge a book by its cover, but I admit, sometimes I do. I was ready for a book along the lines of a Debbie Macomber or Barbara Delinsky, something sappy with a “great” tragedy but happily ever after ending. Not really my cup-of-tea. What I found was a book I loved. I was instantly hooked when the invitations caused so much trouble and the author started talking about “signs.” The characters and their world kept me going to the end. This book gives you a little bit of everything (mystery, romance, humor, etc.) without trying too hard to do it all (if that makes sense.) I felt myself falling love with Walls of Water and its inhabitants. It is a place I would love to visit, or even better, live there. Alas it is imaginary … but still. The main thing which kept me reading, however, was the magic in the story. Not witches and wizards magic, but magic you can believe just might exist. To top it off, the friendship between Willa’s grandmother and Paxton’s grandmother brought tears to my eyes because we all want that friend, the one who says “She’s still here. I’m still here… as long as we are, we’ll always be friends.” I am recommending this book to everyone.
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