Sarah Addison Allen has discovered a formula that works, and I am glad she is is continuing the element of magic realism that has made her warm and entertaining stories so popular.
In The Peach Keeper, the Madam, the old mansion being restored by Paxton Osgood and her women’s society, is almost complete and she is planning for the gala opening. The madam used to belong to Georgie Jackson and her family, but that was before the the town’s declining logging industry that forced them into foreclosure. Ever since she left the madam, Georgie would never talk about that part of her history with her son or granddaughter, Willa, who went to high school with Paxton and now owns a sporting goods store in town.
Home to help with the removal of an old peach tree on the property is Paxton’s twin brother, Colin, a landscape architect who left Walls of Water after high school in hopes of doing something other than what everyone expected of him. While digging deep in the earth to remove the tree, they discover a skull and suitcase that supposedly belongs to Tucker Devlin, a man who could be just a myth and that one is really sure ever existed. Despite their differences in high school, Willa and Paxton are bonded by their families and need to figure out what happened between their grandmothers all those years ago.
Allen’s stories are such a nice treat for me because they offer something a little bit unique and different, and I enjoy the departure from the graphic thrillers I usually read. Readers who have read Allen will also enjoy a surprise drop-in from a character from one of her previous novels…I’m not going to tell you who. You’ll have to read it to find out!