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A Reader of Fictions: Ache for You - Ben Lee

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Ache for You - Ben Lee

The Peach Keeper

Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Pages: 273
Publisher: Bantam

Brief Summary:
Willa Jackson moved back home to Walls of Water when her father died and left her the house. A prankster in school for reasons she never really understood, she felt guilty for having failed her educator father. Paxton Osgood, on the other hand, seems to have everything totally under control, just like she did in high school. She heads up the Women's Society Club, which performs charitable work while also giving the classy local ladies a chance to show off. Then again, Paxton still lives at home and has fallen in love with her best friend, who, she's pretty sure, is gay. Both Willa and Paxton are in for some surprises when the restoration of the old Jackson family home by the Osgood family unearths some family skeletons (literally).

Review:
The Peach Keeper is Allen's fourth novel, but only my second of hers. I read her first book, Garden Spells, last year and positively adored it. This one definitely did not disappoint and has convinced me that all of Allen's books will need to make their way into my personal collection at some point. Even though I do not normally care for southern fiction (ironic that, being a southern girl myself, Allen does it perfectly. The fact that the stories are set in the south both do and do not define the stories (which I realize is super unclear, but I know what I mean). The characters do not drawl everything, but there is a southern-ness that I can't really explain.

What makes Allen's work shine amongst other chick lit books out there is the magical realism. There is always an element of magic, not the Harry Potter kind, but magic all the same. It's a magic that, as the term suggests, is accepted as natural, and really does seem to be. The magic has a subtlety and possibility to it that makes me really want to believe that the real world is Allen's world.

Plus, there's the romance. I do not read too much chick lit anymore. At some point, it just stopped actually striking me as particularly romantic or believable. Allen's romances are quite simple. They don't try to surprise you too much; you know who's going to end up with whom, which frankly you pretty much always do. Again, the delightfulness of the romance stems from the sheer cuteness and the chillness of it. There is no bodice ripping or exuberant sex scenes, and yet you can feel your heart do little happy skips. Or maybe that's just me.

Although I think I preferred Garden Spells a bit overall, I still loved reading The Peach Keeper. I highly recommend Sarah Addison Allen to fans of chick lit and to people who really want to believe that love and magic really exist.

"There's no rhyme and there's no reason
You're the secret in the back of my skull
There's no logic, so please believe me
Our love's confusing, but it never gets dull"

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12 Comments:

Blogger Heather said...

I've read two books by this author (Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen), and I really like her, too. I had no idea she had a new book out, so I'll definitely have to read it!

April 15, 2011 at 4:58 PM  
Blogger Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

enjoyed hearing your take on this one -
always helpful to have another's perspective... TY

March 20, 2012 at 3:29 PM  
Blogger Carol N Wong said...

I have had this on my wish list for a long time and it has just travelled to the top based on your review.


CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

March 29, 2012 at 4:18 PM  
Blogger Angela Holland said...

Thank you for this review. I too read the Garden Spells and have thought about reading this book too.

griperang at embarqmail dot com

May 6, 2012 at 10:03 PM  
Blogger Sarah Elizabeth said...

I read 'garden spells' a couple of years ago and lonved it too! It was just so uplifting!
Haven't managed to read anything else by Sarah Addison Allen yet, but looking forward to this book!
I'm glad that you like it as much as garden spells cause I was a bit worried that garden spells might be a one off!
Sarah

May 14, 2012 at 5:08 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I've only read two of her four books so far, but I suspect they may all be just as magical as Garden Spells. I really wish I lived in Sarah Addison Allen's world. It's so subtly magical. That would be the best!

May 14, 2012 at 8:22 AM  
Blogger Sonia said...

I enjoyed reading this. My favourite is The Girl Who Chased The Moon. Have you read that? I haven't read Garden Spells but I'm planning to. Great review! :-)

May 26, 2012 at 10:48 AM  
Blogger Amanda Morganne said...

I haven't read this one, but I loved her novel The Girl Who Chased the Moon and have started reading Garden Spells. Funny thing is, I'm going to the same college that Sarah Addison Allen graduated from. Great review!

May 28, 2012 at 7:15 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

I haven't read that one yet. The only other one I've read is Garden Spells, but I do own a copy of TGWCtM! It's gorgeous!

May 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

That's awesome. We only had one famous author who graduated from my college: Carol Shields. I do like her books, though!

May 30, 2012 at 11:46 AM  
Blogger Bookie Bee said...

I had LOVED Garden Spells and looking forward to reading this!
Great review!!

August 1, 2012 at 7:46 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Sarah Addison Allen's books are entirely magical!

August 1, 2012 at 8:09 PM  

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