Author: Larry Peterson
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: E-Book, Debut Author, YA Historical, Standalone, A to Z, 100 Books in a Year
One thing you do not see much of nowadays is books written for young adults that can be described as “heart-warming”. Right now, dark and intense are in style. So it is refreshing to see an ultimately uplifting book such as Larry Peterson’s The Priest and the Peaches.
The five Peach children – Teddy, Joanie, Dancer, Beeker, and Joey – have been surviving for years without their mother. Their father may not be the greatest, spending more time at the bar than at home, but his love is apparent. However, those nights are the bars end up tearing the family apart in a way no one expect as alcohol consumption finally takes its toll on Yimey Peach. At the innocent age of 18, Teddy now finds himself the guardian of his younger siblings and dealing with the adult responsibilities of taking care of his father’s funeral and paying the long-overdue bills. Things look bleak, but with the help of their parish priest and Yimey’s philosophy of “love your neighbor”, the Peach kids just might make it through.
The Priest and the Peaches is the type of story that really touches the heart of whomever reads it, no matter their age. While Peterson was trying to present a YA novel, this comes across a little more ageless. It is written simple enough that middle schoolers could understand, yet some of the issues are more sophisticated. The switching of point of views from the kids to the adults in their lives also makes it seem geared towards an older audience. But the message is a good one for readers of any age. While the Peaches are Catholic, the thought of loving your neighbor will resonate with those from all walks of life. Catholic means “universal”, and Peterson’s moral in The Priest and the Peaches is truly that.
Anyone looking for a tender story with Catholic undertones will enjoy The Priest and the Peaches. The more he writes, the more Larry Peterson could really make a name for himself in this niche genre.