The Peach Keeper

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.”

Tucker Devlin:

“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 :

  50 comments for “The Peach Keeper

  1. August 3, 2011 at 6:02 am

    I can’t wait to sink my teeth into a peach, and that book may be my next Kindle purchase for the lake. Just printed the Grilled Peach-and-Mozzarella Salad. Sounds wonderful!

  2. Happier Than A Pig in Mud
    August 3, 2011 at 6:17 am

    Very pretty table Mary, I love the napkins! The peach salad looks beautiful and it sounds like a fun book:@)

  3. August 3, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Yum! Everything here looks so peachy! The book sounds wonderful, I will have to look for it.

  4. August 3, 2011 at 7:23 am

    Delicious post and gorgeous table, Mary!

  5. August 3, 2011 at 8:48 am

    I’m speechless! Your settings and pictures are sooo beautiful! I would feel so pampered if I was invited to this luncheon. Gorgeous!

  6. August 3, 2011 at 9:07 am

    i must say i was rather jealous with your spring layout, i thought how did she get so cool in the heat of summer!

    your pics are stunning, really i am stunned with the food… fabulous, delish food that i never get to enjoy anymore…

    her books are wonderful little bites aren’t they, you could not ooze anymore southern charm~

  7. Annie La Vigne
    August 3, 2011 at 9:23 am

    So pretty…A

  8. Pondside
    August 3, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Ah, that was lovely.
    Peaches are such a sign of high summer and there’s nothing better than a sun-warmed, juicy peach. This book sounds like a good read for a warm and lazy summer weekend.

  9. August 3, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Fabulous post, Mary. Beautiful photos as always, and one of the most appetizing book reviews I have read. xo,

  10. August 3, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Simply gorgeous!

  11. August 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    My heart skipos a beay when I see a new post from you as they ALWAYS are gorgeous eye candy AND make me HUNGRY! I am eating a nectarine as I read this post!!!!!! I hahve one every day these days. The peach bellini sounds FABULOUS and that stacked salad, I know will become a favorite! Thanks for this BEAUTIFUL post!!!! XO, Pinky

  12. August 3, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I think it is so cool that you enjoy reading so much! I wish I could get back into it. I think all that reading in college ruined me! :-) It is even more cool that you bring the spirit of those books to life through your food & tablescapes. Very inspiring! I have to tell you…I LOVE that tablecloth! I’m not sure exactly why….maybe it reminds me a little of my grade school uniform? At any rate, it is a beautiful setting with very feminine overtones. I can’t think of a lady alive who wouldn’t enjoy dining at such a graciously set table! Read on, my sister! :-)

  13. Jackie
    August 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Mary, when I grow up, I want to be just like you! Jackie

  14. August 3, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    Oh my goodness. Suddenly I feel very hungry for a peach. I’m thinking I need to check this book out too.

  15. August 3, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Peach and Mozzarella Salad … Yum! Thanks for the book recommendation, too. My Kindle is as hungry as I am. =>

  16. August 3, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    WoW! Your photos are amazing and your table settings/food leave me speechless (which is very rare)! ;-)
    Everything looks so inviting and yummy. I could dive into that trifle right about now…I’m so hungry.

    Wonderful post. Thanks for sharing.

    I’m here:
    Pages Of Love

  17. August 3, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Such a luscious looking table, Mary! That peach Bellini is right up my alley about now. My DD is bonkers over anything plaid so I’m going to hunt down that tablecloth for her…she would love it. Thanks for sharing your source.

    I think I have those same white wicker looking dishes. They were the perfect backdrop for all those soft, juicy colors. Very beautifully done, as always, Mary.

  18. August 3, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Oh my gosh–this is one of THE most beautiful posts I’ve ever seen…It is amazing!!!


  19. August 3, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Simply delicious!! You’ve made The Peach Keeper absolutely tantalizing. Beautiful table!

    PS I just received a copy of The Peach Keeper. How am I going to put off reading it after this review? I have three other books on the go right now.

  20. August 3, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    WOW! I’m hungry and I do feel like something peachy… your table setting and food was captured beautiful in your photos … thanks for the book suggestions..visiting from BNOTP ..xo HHL

  21. August 3, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I honestly do not know where to begin. I always enjoy when you do a book, and this one particularly gave me an appetite for the book AND the food. Everything is so beautiful, especially all of the edible flower garnishes and other flowers on the table.

    And I really want to check out that Southern Living recipe for the grilled peach mozzarella.

  22. August 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Mary, I no longer have words for your impeccable creations. I’d just like to spend a little time with you so it would rub off. You did whet my appetite for some new fast treats.

  23. August 3, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    You weave the most delicious tales.. intriguing and delightful. Your photos are fabulous and so enjoy every visit here. A lovely table with the perfect plaid tablecloth and the wonderful napkins.. All punctuated with the perfect white dishes and bee flatware.. And then there is the most delicious food. thanks for sharing, xo marlis

  24. August 3, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    You are just peachy keen! I do love this post. I am hungry for a sweet juicy peach! I love the tablescapes and you R O C K! Great P post. Anne

  25. August 3, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Oh my goodness~this all looks so delicious! I just love peaches, and you’ve created such a festive table.

  26. JDaniel4's Mom
    August 3, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    We have missed the summer peaches here. We had hail in the late spring.

  27. August 4, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Another winning table and Oh, My!…….the peach and mozzarella salad sounds delicious!!!! .
    I read the Girl who Chased the Moon earlier this year and am so happy to hear there is another book by the author….
    On my list already!

  28. August 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

    She is such a fun author, and I can’t wait to read the new book.

    You did her justice here, by the way. Amazing!


  29. August 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Mary, again a beautiful post and no I can’t say no to a Peach Bellini for an afternoon Summer treat. I’ve missed so many of your wonderful posts and photography that I’ve spent the last twenty minutes visiting and sharing in your travels and adventures. Just beautiful. Hopefully I’m back on track soon and visit more often! I truly enjoy visiting, and as always inspiratrional! x

  30. Debbie
    August 4, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    I absolutely love this post. You made it magical.

  31. August 4, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    Another stunning post! I adore peaches and to see them featured like this, well, be still my heart. Must look for the book. I just love how pretty everything is. Your cooking is amazing. The pansies are just the magical touch!

  32. August 4, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Ohhhhhhh how I love peaches and how I loved your table.

    Loved the napkins and the napkin rings.

    Wonderfully set.

    Karin Şen Cankan

  33. August 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Beautiful and enticing photos. I’m craving a peach! Thanks for the book recommendation. I need something new to read this week…
    Jane (artfully graced)

  34. August 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    Everything you’ve done here is beautiful! I love your tablescape. I’ve been eating peaches all week so thanks for even more inspiration to use them. I’d like to invite you to share this on A Well-Seasoned Life’s Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  35. August 6, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I came back today to have another look at your lilac post and have been scrolling through your blog. Wonderful!!!
    Your peach post truly speaks summer and is so very lovely. Your photos are
    gorgeous and all the food looks so beautiful and refreshing. The tablescape is fabulous. And, I am craving peaches right about now.
    I was so happy to read your post about The Peach Keeper because someone
    just gave me the book and I am looking forward to reading it.
    Another beautiful post!

  36. August 6, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Such a beautiful post. I’d love a peach belleni.

    – The Tablescaper

  37. August 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    SO happy to have found your blog while Googling for images of Tereasa’s “Very Modest Cottage”! Would it be ok to use a few of your images from that post on my blog? (I’ll credit them back to your blog of course!)
    My blog is called, and you can find me at! Thanks Mary! Hope to hear from you soon and that you’re having a happy Summer!

    Layla :-)

  38. August 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    What a perfectly ripe and delicious post!

    This book sounds intriquing. I’m going to see if the library has it! I like her as an author.

    Your tablescape was so lovely.

    This post was an absolutely treasure.

    It made my heart sigh.

    Thanks for sharing all your talents! You are certainly blessed with many.


  39. August 7, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    Oh, this one is full of delicious temptations. We ate our way through July with fresh Texas peaches – Red Globe. Can you find Red Globe there? They are the best! I’ve added the book to my list. Looks like a great summer read. Just finished The Queen’s Fool. Highly recommend it if you haven’t already read it. ;-)

  40. August 7, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Oh my…so beautiful and so delicious! Each of those recipes looks absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing this “book review”!

  41. August 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Just came BACK from OTMM and saw all my typos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so sorry! I get so excited when I view your posts:):) That peach bellini is calling my name!!!!!! XO, Pinky

  42. August 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Mary, I have to say that it takes me forever to read one of your posts.:)
    Your photos are so beautiful that I forget to read what you wrote and then I have to go back several times. Yes, I’m visually driven. I actually DO read, and mostly Southern authors. ‘The Peach Keeper” is on my list for the next book to buy.. The peach trifle, Bellini and salad all look so appetizing that I don’t know which to make first.
    Thanks for another great post.

  43. August 10, 2011 at 7:45 am

    Hmm, what an intriguing book…I might pick it up so I have something to read on my 10 hour flight :) The food (especially the dessert) looks amazing! Also love how your tablescape matches up so well with the cover of the book!

  44. Joni
    August 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    I liked all the details from the book, but what I was craving at the end of the post was the individual trifles! Yum, Yum, Yum! What a beautiful table you have set and I only can imagine all the time it took to bring this post to fruition. Joni

  45. August 12, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Gorgeous! You ought to post this link on Sarah’s Facebook fan page. She’d love it.

  46. August 23, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I am definitely buying this book after reading the post you sent to us! Thanks for sharing this— I love Southern Writers’ works, and Sara is a new writer to me. I’m looking soooo forward to reading her book and sharing it with others. Thoroughly enjoy your beautiful blog photos each time I receive it in my ‘in-box!’ Thanks!

  47. March 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    What a wonderful post ! I found you via Fresh Cut Friday @ Rose Vignettes , but when I saw The Peach Keeper on your sidebar , I had to click ! I am a HUGE Sarah Addison Allen fan. A few months back , I actually won a give a way on her FB page and won a print of artwork from the Peach Keeper and she included postcard prints of each of her book covers . I wrote a post about how I displayed it. ( check it out if you have time ) I am now following your blog, fresh cut flowers and SAA books , how can I not ? :) Hope you have time to visit my blog and if you like , follow back :)

  48. August 13, 2013 at 5:23 am

    love your post.. found you on Pinterest.. I’m going to add you to my next post on table settings..

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