What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

Isn't that cover beautiful? I'll admit it was the first thing that drew me to this book.

And as if that wasn't enough, here's the summary from Goodreads: 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.

Spooky...! Actually, the spook factor of this book was very low, considering there is a ghost story that ties Willa and Paxton's families together. Every piece of this story is wrapped up in a nice little package. It's just...peachy. (heh, you know, sometimes I just can't resist!)

What I liked: 1) Sebastian - I don't know what it was about him that I liked so much, but I just really did. He also has a supercool name. Plus there is a whole mystery surrounding him, and that alone would have kept me turning the pages. 2) Seeing Colin and Willa's relationship develop. 3) Paxton - I felt a special kinship with Paxton. Do you ever read a book and then think, well, that's me, in a book? Well, minus the rich southern family, Paxton and I have a lot in common, especially personality-wise. All of the characters were very relatable and really came alive in the pages. 4) The town. Walls of Water is this small little town with old-school southern ideals, as much as they are trying to bring themselves to the present. I love novels with southern ideals.

What I didn't like: 1) The ghost story was a little...meh. For being such a big part of the story, I felt like there needed to be more explanation.

Overall thoughts: Good old fashioned southern fried fiction. This makes for a sweet summer read, easily read in one sitting. It's easy to get hooked from the very beginning, and it'll keep you guessing until the very satisfying ending. In addition to the great plot, the relatable characters, and the wonderful setting, these little southern superstitions and traditions sneak up without you even noticing. This is my first Sarah Addison Allen book, but I'll definitely be looking for more from her!

My rating: 5 shots

Cheers and Happy Reading!
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  1. I love Sarah Addison Allens writing, I have been meaning to read this one. Thanks for the great review, I am really looking forward to reading it now!

  2. I wasn't sure if this would be something I would be interested in, but after reading your review it is now on my TBR list!

  3. I hope you both enjoy it! I sure did!

  4. Oh I'm SO glad you liked this. I've been meaning to read it. I love SAA. Her books are just magical.

  5. I really enjoyed this book too. I think the love story and ghost stories could have been developed a little more but it was just one of those books that made me happy reading it (actually all of her books do that to me!). Great review!

    Bonnie @ HandsAndHome

  6. I like your review format! I've read glowing reviews of both the author and her books. The Peach Keeper is definitely on my TBR list.

  7. JuJu - I did. I'm definitely going to look into her other stuff.

    Bonnie - Thanks for stopping by! And I agree, I think the ghost story needed more development

    Shonda - thanks so much, I'm glad you like my review format! And definitely check this one out. It's worth the read!


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