"The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper." ~ W. B. Yeats
Allen sharpens our senses so that the supernatural seems natural. I personally like this about her work.
Besides not meeting the deadline for finishing the book, I also did not make it to my monthly meeting! I like to bring you a recap of our discussion and unfortunately I'm not able to do that this month. I can tell you that 11 book clubbers made it to the meeting and they all enjoyed the book and agreed that it was a perfect fit for our quest to find less depressing/heavy books to read. Many said that The Peach Keeper was their favorite Allen novel. So if you haven't had a chance to pick it up--add it to your wish list. You can find a copy in our shop.
There are a ton of interesting questions for discussion at the end of the novel. I am going to pick a few of my favorites and pose them here and if you have read the book, or would like to offer your answers in the comments that would be lovely! I think many of the questions are great for sparking discussion:
1. What do you think the title The Peach Keeper means? Who is the peach keeper in the story?
2. Superstitions played a big part in Willa's grandmother's life, and in Willa's life, by extension. What superstitions did you grow up with? Why do you think superstitions exist?
3. Many of the characters in The Peach Keeper struggle with how people used to see them as opposed to how they are now. Who were you in high school? Do you miss that person? Or are you glad to leave that time in your life behind?
4. There's a wisp of something supernatural following the characters in the story, seemingly brought into their lives by the discovery of buried bones under a peach tree. What are your thoughts on the supernatural? Do you think disturbing a grave upsets the spiritual side of things? Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
5. Sarah Addison Allen's books usually have themes of forgiveness and food. Have you read her other books? How is The Peach Keeper similar? How is it a departure? Did you recognize the reference to the main characters in her debut novel, Garden Spells?
6. The theme of roots runs through the novel--from the peach tree, to Colin's work, to the characters struggling with there place in Walls of Water. What about the town and its history draws people to it and entices them to put down roots? On the flip side, what about it causes others to deny their roots and move away? Have you had a similar experience with your hometown?
Finally, June's book club selection will be: Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer -- you can find a copy in The More Than Mommies Shop at Amazon.