Where Wild Peaches Grow is a smart and immersive novel about sisterhood, family ties and cultural heritage and the characters are well drawn and engaging. Told through a split narrative, author Cade Bentley places the reader right into a scene centered on older sister, Julia, handling the recent passing of their father and introducing the reason for his death – a heart attack brought on by his tenant picking peaches from the rented home. It immediately calls into question what about these fruit could be so special to generate such tense feelings.
Younger sister, Nona, also called Peaches, left their Natchez, Mississippi home several years ago under less-than-ideal circumstances, but has reinvented herself as an African American history professor in Chicago. Recently, she has been contemplating the intersection of her scholarly work and her own personal legacy so when the call comes from her sister, she is torn between needing to return home to pay her respects to her deceased father, and the temptation to continue along the path she has been forging without them.
As the plot unfolds, other strong and entertaining characters are introduced including Mamaw, the girls’ eighty-something-year-old grandmother, and Richard, Eli and Marcus, love interests who help stir the sauce that keeps these sisters at odds with each other.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think the plot was very relatable and well constructed with just the right amount of family tension and small-town interaction overlaid with more scholarly exploration of Black culture and revisionist history. The cover art is also very appealing, although I wish the model was looking out at the page instead of gazing at the forbidden fruit. I’d recommend this as a good read for fans of books like Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage and Jesmyn Ward’s
Title: Where Wild Peaches Grow
Author: Cade Bentley
Format: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Lake Union Publishers
Publication Date: August 30, 2022
Note: I received an Advance Reader Copy of Where Wild Peaches Grow in order to participate in a publicity tour organized by TLC Book Tours. I was not otherwise compensated and the above reflects my honest opinion about the book.