"Before you, Bella, my life was like a moonless night. Very dark, but there were stars, points of light and reason. ...And then you shot across my sky like a meteor. Suddenly everything was on fire; there was brilliancy, there was beauty. When you were gone, when the meteor had fallen over the horizon, everything went black. Nothing had changed, but my eyes were blinded by the light. I couldn’t see the stars anymore. And there was no more reason, for anything."

~ Edward Cullen

Friday, May 3, 2013

Review: The Peach Keeper

Title: The Peach Keeper
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Listening Time: 7 Hours and 43 Minutes
Challenges: None
Rating: 4/5

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

This is the second book that I've listened to by Sarah Addison Allen and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every moment of it.  There's just something about her books that make me feel good.  Plus her writing is absolutely amazing!  I'm hoping to read or listen to Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen in the next few weeks.

One thing that I absolutely adore about Allen's books are her characters.  They're always so uniquely written, with just that touch of magic around them.  Each one carries their own bit of mystery, and it really helps to keep the story fresh and exciting.

I will say that The Peach Keeper doesn't have the same "magic" in it that the other book "The Girl Who Chased the Moon" did.  It's much more subtle and an underlying theme, and I'm not sure if I enjoyed that as much.  However, the writing was still just as superb, and the story moved along at a delicious pace.  The narrator, Karen White, was extremely talented, and brought a great deal to the story.

Fans of Allen's previous work should really give The Peach Keeper on audio a try.  It's well worth the listen, and quite enjoyable!!

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