Friday, February 3, 2012

The Priest and the Peaches - Larry Peterson

Publisher:  Tribute Books
Pages: 285
Genre:  Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Source:  Review copy from publisher in exchange for my honest review

The Priest and the Peaches Book Summary
Historical fiction novel set in the Bronx in the mid-1960s

Take a seven day journey with the five, newly orphaned Peach kids, as they begin their struggle to remain a family while planning their dad's funeral.

They find an ally in the local parish priest, Father Tim Sullivan, who tries his best to guide them through the strange, uncharted and turbulent waters of "grown-up world." A story that is sad, funny, and inspiring as it shows how the power of family love and faith can overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

My Thoughts:
I could not imagine being an eighteen year old with my life ahead of me and suddenly my life is changed drastically.  Teddy must find a way to take care of his siblings after their father dies.  He does the best he can.  The neighbor downstairs is causing problems for Teddy.  He needs help so he turns to Father Tim Sullivan.  Help comes in many forms including guidance in matters of everyday life.  There are moral lessons to be learned seasoned with a touch of Christianity.  There were pats where I just cracked up, like the boys jumping on the bed and pretending to be super-heroes.  I think the reason I loved this so much was because I could relate to it so much.  I remember jumping on our bed with the wire springs and having it collapse on us.  I also remember my mom trudging up the steps to reprimand us.  I remember tying scarves around my neck and pretending to be mighty mouse as I jumped off our back steps.  When my mother was injured in a car accident and spent a month in the hospital in traction, my father put me in charge of my younger sisters aged 11 and 7.  I was only 13 years old.  I had to cook breakfast and get us ready for school, take care of my normal chores on our farm, help with homework, then fix dinner and take care of the dishes.  It was tough.  I could relate also because my experiences took place around the same time period.

I felt Teddy's burdens as he tried to hold it all together.  I felt his stress and heartache.  This was one of those books that had you laughing one minute and then had your heart being squished.  This is a young adult book, but I am telling you that adults will enjoy this book just as much.  I definitely recommend it to my friends and anyone else that loves historical fiction.

Larry Peterson's Bio:
Larry Peterson was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. A former Metal Lather/Reinforcing Iron-worker, he left that business after coming down with MS. He, his wife and three kids moved to Florida 30 years ago. Larry began doing freelance newspaper commentary after graduating from Tampa College in 1984.

His first children's picture book, Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes was published in 2011. In 2012, his full length novel, The Priest and the Peaches was released and he is presently working on the sequel.

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  1. Sandra, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Peach kids. I'm with you - you can't help but admire Teddy and how he held everything together at just 18. You're right, reading about this family - you definitely are laughing one minute and crying the next.

  2. Thank you Sandra--that was a wonderful review and I sincerely appreciate you taking the time and effort to feature my book. Best wishes to you.
    Larry Peterson