The grade: B+
Makes me want to read: Garden Spells, and more magical realism novels
My thoughts: Somehow, I cam across The Girl Who Chased the Moon, which I adored, and had one of those “where have you been all my life” moments. I decided Sarah Addison Allen was going to be one of my new favorite authors. The Peach Keeper was next on my list, though after I read Audra’s review at Unabridged Chick, I approached with caution.
Happily, I enjoyed the novel and had different interpretation than Audra, so that foible wasn’t as much an issue for me. I won’t discuss it for spoiler reasons. I would call The Peach Keeper magical realism, though that isn’t the emphasis. This is a story about the importance of friendship among women, taking risks for happiness, overcoming our past and moving beyond the expectations others have for us.
Our heroines are Willa Jackson and Paxton Osgood. Sidebar: what great southern names! I’m a New Englander–I don’t know anyone named Willa or Paxton. The Southern atmosphere is one of the characteristics I like most in Allen’s novels. Anyway, 75 years ago, Willa and Paxton’s grandmothers formed the Women’s Society Club. Over the years, the Club has lost its way (another recurring theme) and become about showmanship and competition, not friendship. By uncovering the history of the Club and their grandmothers, Paxton and Willa grow closer, take risks, and find their way back to their happy endings.
It’s a sweet novel, and a perfect read for lazy summer days. Pour a glass of your favorite summertime drink, lay in the hammock or on the porch or wherever your favorite summer reading spot is, and enjoy.