It’s the dubious distinction of thirty-year-old Willa Jackson to hail from a fine old Southern family of means that met with financial ruin generations ago. The Blue Ridge Madam—built by Willa’s great-great-grandfather and once the finest home in Walls of Water, North Carolina—has stood for years as a monument to misfortune and scandal. Willa has lately learned that an old classmate—socialite Paxton Osgood—has restored the house to its former glory, with plans to turn it into a top-flight inn. But when a skeleton is found buried beneath the property’s lone peach tree, long-kept secrets come to light, accompanied by a spate of strange occurrences throughout the town. Thrust together in an unlikely friendship, united by a full-blooded mystery, Willa and Paxton must confront the passions and betrayals that once bound their families—and uncover the truths that have transcended time to touch the hearts of the living.
I just can't help but love the way that Allen writes. It's all magical realism, and romance, and just a touch of the unknown. I love the way she weaves the lives of four or even five different people all together, and even does different points of view for all of them. Some of them only get a paragraph. Some get chapters upon chapters. But what really matters, is that all of them seem very well developed, and real, but also just a bit distant, like they're still trying to find themselves.
I found that I really enjoyed all of the characters in this novel, as opposed to hating them all, or liking a side character. *Yay!*I love it when I can say that I loved all the characters. That just makes the book so much better for me. I loved the way that the plot is mostly centered around Willa and Paxton, but there was little side notes here and there about Willa's dad's death, and Paxton's home life, their love interests, and the dead body. All put together in a way that just made it completely magical for me. I love magical realism. It's amazing.
Another thing that I really liked was the mystery of it all. The dead body, the peach keeper, all of it was very mysterious, and really added to the overall tone of the story. So, in short, because I don't want to bore you all to death with my thoughts, I loved it. I'll read it again. It has gone on my To-Buy list. Was that enough to convince you?