In The Peach Keeper, Sarah Addison Allen has composed another gem of a novel. Set in Walls of Water, North Carolina the story is infused with the signature southern charm and touch of magic that distinguished Allen's previous works (The Sugar Queen, Garden Spells). The mystery is compelling and the characters are delightful. Willa and Paxton were equally enjoyable to read and as the masks that each hid behind were whittled away, I was torn between which heroine I preferred.
Though less dependent on fantasy elements than some of Allen's other novels, The Peach Keeper still had an air of magical realism to it. Allen fans will also enjoy a brief cameo appearance from a past heroine. I really enjoyed this book. The plot is fresh and unique, but the themes of love and friendship - across generations, past grudges, and hurdling stereotypes - are timeless.