Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper


The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen | LibraryThing

Allen, S. A. (2011). The peach keeper: A novel. New York: Bantam Books. 9780553807226

Reasons for Reading : Okay, I’ve enjoyed all of the Sarah Addison Allen’s books thus far and I wanted to read The Peach Keeper. Upon returning from England, I happily found two copies on the shelf of my HCPL branch. I checked out one and read it within a week.

Summary: Thirty-year old Willa Jackson has resigned herself to a quiet life in her hometown of Walls of Waters, North Carolina. She runs a camping goods store and looks forward to laundry night. Her days of high school joker are long behind her. Willa discovers that her old high school classmate, philanthropic socialite Paxton Osgood, has restored the Jackson family’s former home – the Blue Ridge Madam. Paxton anticipates turning the Blue Ridge Madam into an inn. Then, the landscaping crew unearths a skeleton beneath the lone peach tree. Willa’s quiet life shatters as she and Paxton face their intertwined family histories.

Review : While I enjoyed more Garden Spells and The Girl Who Chased the Moon, I also liked The Peach Keeper. I appreciated the reality of these characters, especially Paxton’s relationship with Sebastian Rogers as well as several characters’ attempts to reconcile the past with the present and the future. However, I didn’t care for the 1930s storyline of their grandmothers. Lastly, my absolute favorite part of this novel were the Easter eggs of Garden Spells’ Claire and Bay Waverly.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: Heart – Magic Man – YouTube

Setting : Walls of Water, North Carolina

You might also like:

For more on Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper, check out the following sites:
Advertisements

Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic


Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman | LibraryThing

Hoffman, A. (1995). Practical magic. New York: Putnam. 9780399140556

I admit – I approach Alice Hoffman with trepidation. My freshman English teacher assigned us the task of reading At Risk, a story of a young gymnast who contracts AIDS from a blood transfusion. After finishing, I cried and cried. Twelve years later, I read Blue Diary as one of her characters bore the name Jorie (like me). Okay, so she doesn’t write the happiest literature. Yet, numerous colleagues and friends encouraged me to read Practical Magic. It pleases me that I managed to read this book without copious tear shed.

When their parents die in a fire, sisters Sally and Gillian Owens come to live with their eccentric aunts in a 200-year old house built by their ancestress, Maria Owens. Their aunts are witches and help many “upstanding women” by casting spells on the sly.

Sally and Gillian grow up without rules but virtual outcasts. Gillian elopes, heading west of the Mississippi while Sally falls in love with a local guy, Michael, marries, and has two daughters – Antonia and Kylie. Michael dies and Sally blames the family heritage – witchcraft. Sally and her young girls move to New York. Ultimately, Gillian nor Sally can outrun their roots and must admit who they are and what they can do.

While bittersweet at times, Practical Magic is my favorite Alice Hoffman work. Hoffman created clear, likable, and relatable characters in Sally and Gillian. Her vivid settings acted as characters as well.  My favorite part came towards the end and involves Aunt Frances and Aunt Jet and the girl next door.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Coconut by Harry Nilsson

Places : Massachusetts, New York, Arizona

You might also like:

For more on Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic, check out the following sites: