February 09, 2013
The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
Once a trickster, Willa has come back to the town of Walls of Water and settled as the owner of a sporting clothes store. There she tries to live a calm life, completely unlike what she used to be. But the visit of Colin, brother of the socialite Paxton, breaks up the monotony of her life and causes her to have some of those old sparks of mischief again. Meanwhile, Paxton is planning an anniversary party for the local ladies' social club and is putting the finishing touches on an old home that is being restored when a body is found buried beneath the peach tree in the yard. This opens a whole series of questions that will bring Paxton and Willa together.
I liked both Willa and Paxton. They were wildly different from each other but both were good people in their own right. They tried to be accommodating to everyone and neglected themselves in the process, as good people often do. But they both had a spark to them. And their love interests, Colin and Sebastian were quite charming as well. Everything you'd want in a real guy, it's just a matter of finding the right one. There were a few side characters, but they played small roles in the story, and honestly, they probably weren't needed.
The plot was predictable, but still charming. I always enjoy the little bits of magic that Allen inserts in her works. Although they weren't quite as prevalent in this one. She just has a way of making the ordinary special and makes you want to believe that that kind of magic is quite possible. And she had a few good quotable lines in this book too. "Happiness means taking risks" and other such inspiring things. Her writing is just so comfortable that you can sink in with a book and not emerge until you're done with it.
A very good book and I eagerly await the next one she will write. She's definitely becoming one of my favorite writers.
The Peach Keeper