Willa Jackson may have moved back home to Walls of Water, North Carolina, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be there. She handily isolates herself running a shop along the touristy strip of town that specializes in organic sportswear. In her neatly arranged (and boring) life, Willa hardly has to see any of the girls she went to high school with, including most especially Paxton Osgood, a rich do-gooder whose uppity fakeness and manicured nails set Willa’s teeth on edge.
Unfortunately for Willa—but fortunately for readers—her past refuses to stay tucked away. The renovation of an old mansion, the Blue Ridge Madam, causes Willa’s and Paxton’s paths to cross at last. In a twist too zany to be believed outside of the genre of Southern fiction, the women’s grandmothers were the dearest of friends and harbor a horrible secret, which has remained hidden beneath the peach tree in the garden: It’s the body of a dead man, and the two old women know how it got there. As the young protagonists unfold the mystery, they are offered a chance at friendship that neither realized they needed. Along the way they become entangled in new romances and create a few secret-worthy stories of their own.
Sometimes you just get a hankering for a novel that lets you kick up your feet, pour a glass of peach-flavored iced tea and relax. Sarah Addison Allen’s The Peach Keeper is just such a read. Funny characters, great storytelling and winsome humor make this book feel like a vacation between two covers.