Thursday, June 28, 2012

Abducted by the Peach Keeper

The Peach Keeper is the fourth book that I've finished by Sarah Addison Allen, and unfortunately I was not impressed with it. Over the past year, I have grown to become a huge fan of Allen's. I devoured Garden Spells and I became completely obsessed with The Sugar Queen. But The Peach Keeper felt forced and rushed to me and that makes it my least favorite of her books.

The story follows two women living in the southern town of Walls of Water, North Carolina.

Willa Jackson is a local store owner and was born and raised in Walls of Water. There was a time when she had the desire to move away from the small town and see the world, but after the death of her father she moved home to take care of her grandmother. Willa had a slightly troubled adolensce and is now dealing with the severe quilt she feels towards all the trouble she caused for her father, and the lack of closure between them prior to his passing.

Paxton Osgood is the leader of a local socialite group and she is putting in a lot of work to restore an old mansion, the Blue Ridge Madam, into an inn for the town. However, everything turns to chaos when a body is found buried under a peach tree during the renovations. 

Sarah Addison Allen is known for the level of magic and enchantment that she weaves throughout her stories. My favorite stories by her are the ones where she peppers this aspect of her story telling over all the characters or over all of the town. And even though you could argue that she technically did that with the magic in the Peach Keeper, I only felt its presence in regards to the body under the tree and the story behind it. I would have appreciated the novel more if I could have truly felt the magic through out all of the characters.

Allen is also known for her use of romance and love stories in her novels, and again I felt that this quality was lacking in The Peach Keeper. Willa's love interest was fine, I guess, but I didn't take anything overly romantic or life changing away from it. I'm not denying that there was chemistry there, I'm just saying that I didn't feel it as strongly as with Josie and Adam (SQ) or Claire and Tyler (GS). And don't even get me started on Paxton's love interest. That story line felt the most forced/rushed of everything that was in this book.

And I'm also noticing that even though Allen is mostly known for her love stories and magical tendencies, she also tends to include story lines that feature strong resourceful women coming together to empower each other. And the lesson that women should support each other and not rip each other to pieces was featured heavily in this novel and I did appreciate that side of it.

However, the truth is that even when this novel was a little on the disappointing side, it was still a fun quick read. It was nice to be back in the worlds that Allen creates. It is kind of like reading a bad John Green novel. Not that I think there is such a thing, but even when you read a novel of his that you don't love as much as the others, you are still happy just to be back in his head.

I gave The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen an abduction rating of...


fakesteph said...

I always hate finding my least favorite book by a favorite author. the books are never bad, but you are expecting this wonderful magical experience and sometimes the disappointment is worse than a downright bad book.

Kimberly @ Midnight Book Girl said...

Bummer that you didn't like this one more. I haven't read any Sarah Addison Allen but I believe Kate loved The Sugar Queen also, so I would probably start with that one by Allen.

Andrea @ The Overstuffed Bookcase said...

So you like this one less than The Girl Who Chased the Moon? I'm definitely going to read more Sarah Addison Allen, but I guess I'll stick to The Sugar Queen and Garden Spells. Great review, though, Courtney, and I'm glad you still somewhat enjoyed this one! And no, I don't think there is any such thing as a bad John Green novel. ;)

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Oh, too bad, I loved this book! The only thing I found lacking was I wish the book had been longer and included more of the past. I guess The Girl Who Chased the Moon is technically my "least favorite" but I still love all her books.

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