The Peach Keeper ****
by Sarah Addison Allen
An Edible Book Review inspired by Jain at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite for the written word.
“The New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon welcomes you to her newest locale: Walls of Water, North Carolina, where the secrets are thicker than the fog from the town’s famous waterfalls, and the stuff of superstition is just as real as you want it to be.”
I’m long overdue in sharing this book that I read back in April~
I always look forward to Sarah Addison Allen’s books~ I had pre-ordered it, anxious for its arrival. It was waiting for me like a nice, juicy peach ready for me to sink my teeth into, when I returned from vacation. I took these photos and cooked this book back when the azaleas were blooming, and although I had shelved this review, I didn’t shelve this book until after I read it cover-to-cover in two days. . . one day if I hadn’t had to unpack & bathe :-)
My intention was to take a little road trip to tie in to this review, and visit Transylvania County in Western North Carolina ~ the area that the town of Walls of Water is based on, and home to over 250 waterfalls. It became apparent that was not going to happen and though it’s still on my list to visit, it looks more like it will be the fall when the weather is not in the triple digits.
My other excuse is that I got waylaid by another book about peaches . . .
The long-buried secrets and mysteries of The Peach Keeper continued to haunt me to return to it & Walls of Water ever since~ most recently by an article in Our State Magazine.
Full of North Carolina native, Sarah Addison Allen’s trademarks~ magic, small town charm, and FOOD~ The Peach Keeper is easy to devour in one sitting~ and is a great book to tuck in your beach bag or keep by your night stand.
In keeping with this book, I set a simple table where peaches are the stars. Peach blossom-inspired napkin rings from Pier 1, napkins from Stein Mart, Napoleon Bee flatware for the buzzing of the bees & a tablecloth from Kohl’s~
“A cool breeze floated eerily by, smelling of peaches.”
“If anyone had been paying attention to the signs, they would have realized that air turns white when things are about to change, that paper cuts mean there’s more to what’s written on the page than meets the eye, and that birds are always out to protect you from things you don’t see.”
“There was a slight hint of peaches in the air, but it didn’t scare her.”
“What I know, what I’m best at, is peaches. Peach juice swims in my veins. When I bleed, it’s sweet. Honeybees fly right to me.”
“He looked like the world was a ripe peach and he was ready to bite it.”
There was plenty to tempt my palate between these pages~ Oatmeal Cookies with Coffee Icing, Double Chocolate Espresso Brownies, Lemon-Chicken Salad, Lemon and Broccoli Mini-Quiches, Angel Food Cake, Honeymoon Pie. . .but it just seemed criminal not to use peaches in this edible review~
“Cups of lemon crème layered with hazelnut shortbread crumbles, pansies, lavender, and lemon verbena.”
I layered peaches, store-bought hazelnut shortbread cookies, lemon curd & whipped cream~ and garnished with edible violas for an individual, easy trifle~
“Lunch was then served, beautiful food garnished with edible roses and tasting of lavender and mint and lust. People closed their eyes with each bite, and the air turned sweet and cool. The quartet played ravishing melodies that were strange and exotic. There was a curious sense of longing in the air, and everyone felt it. People began to think of old loves and missed opportunities. Unlike most of these functions, no one wanted to leave. Lunch lingered for hours.”
“So it was with Claire Waverley, a beautiful, mysterious caterer who it was rumored could make your rivals jealous, your love life better, your senses stronger, all with the food she created. Her specialty was edible flowers, and once it got out that she had something no one else had, everyone wanted her.”
I highly recommend sipping on a Peach Bellini on a Saturday or Sunday morning as you read this book :-)
“ ‘Can you really make people feel differently with the food you cook, with the drinks you prepare?’ ”
A savory recipe for your peaches~ A Stacked Peach & Mozzarella Salad~
Grilled Peach-and-Mozzarella Salad, recipe courtesy Southern Living
Served with baby spinach and a cilantro-lime vinaigrette~ Delicious & definitely a Keeper recipe :-)
“Just as they turned to walk back up the steps, the scent of peaches permeated the air for a moment, thick and cloying, before it faded into the night, crossing the moon in a wisp of smoke, then disappearing.”
“Resonant with insight into the deep and lasting power of friendship, love, and tradition, The Peach Keeper is a portrait of the unshakable bonds that—in good times and bad, from one generation to the next—endure forever.”
“North Carolina novelist Sarah Addison Allen brings the full flavor of her southern upbringing to bear on her fiction — a captivating blend of fairy tale magic, heartwarming romance, and small-town sensibility.”
Thank you for your visit, I’m happy to be joining :