Book Review: Where Wild Peaches Grow

Click for a larger image of Where Wild Peaches Grow

by Cade Bentley

    Publication Date: Aug 30, 2022
    List Price: $14.95
    Format: Paperback, 291 pages
    Classification: Fiction
    ISBN13: 9781542031219
    Imprint: Lake Union Publishing
    Publisher: Amazon Publishing
    Parent Company:, Inc.

    Read a Description of Where Wild Peaches Grow

    Book Reviewed by Eryka Parker

    When heartbreak and familial betrayal send Nona “Peaches” Davenport running from her home of Natchez, Mississippi as a teenager, neither she nor the family she left behind knew it would be for good. But, nearly twenty years later, Nona is a tenured professor of African American Studies, involved in a romantic relationship, and leading a fulfilling life in Chicago.

    “Storytelling is how history was created.”

    Nona has conducted thorough research on the history of her small hometown and has uncovered the full terrifying story of what happened to newly freed slaves who ventured there. She is surprised to find that her research has debunked inaccurate falsehoods told to her by people she trusted back home. Nona is relieved and excited to have finally uncovered the truth about her local history and how it has affected her childhood and upbringing. She has finally made peace with her demons—or so she thinks. In a jarring call from her estranged sister, Julia, Nona learns of their father’s sudden death and the painful memories of the past she’s fought so hard to leave behind instantly come flooding back.

    When Nona returns home to Natchez to bury her father, there is far more awaiting her in the days ahead than mourning and funeral preparation. The family and friends she’s left behind for nearly twenty years is disappointed in her past choices and demanding answers for her abrupt departure. Gripped with sadness and regret, Nona has no choice but to face the unresolved trauma, hurt, and pain that is awaits her. The question is, is she ready to face it all head-on in the midst of sorting out her grief and guilt for turning her back on her sister, grandmother, and late father?

    Cade Bentley does a good job of portraying the rich and colorful history of Natchez and the shocking secrets that has kept families apart for years and years. In this homecoming story, readers are reminded that life takes you on a series of complicated paths, but there’s no real way to escape who you are.

    And no matter how far you are from home, if you don’t know where you come from, you will never know where you’re going.

    I enjoyed this novel for the most part. There were repetitive phrases used in the main character’s internal dialogue that were distracting. It was almost like the character was reminding herself of something, but if the author had shown the fulfillment of this mantra through her actions, it would have had far more impact. There were also some areas that dragged on more than I would have liked. But I appreciated the diversity and rich culture of the characters, given the setting was in the South. Although some of the history was fictionalized, Bentley did a good job of researching the area and its customs. This was a strong debut for this author.

    Read Lake Union Publishing’s description of Where Wild Peaches Grow.

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