The final instalment in the Peaches trilogy, Love and Peaches brings three girls together again at the peach orchard that became the foundation for their everlasting friendship.
Leeda is a perfect, wealthy girl who is continually under family pressure to act properly, get the best marks in her class, and be successful. Murphy is outgoing and carefree (or as she will only allow people to think). Birdie is impulsive but friendly, as well as the daughter of the owner of the orchard. In the first book, these three girls formed an unlikely relationship while working on the orchard.
As the years have gone by, they are in college and have lived lives of their own, but have returned to their hometown for various reasons - Birdie has been engaged but backs out and breaks up with her fiancé; Leeda is obliged to read her grandmother's will; Murphy returns out of nostalgia. Jodi Lynn Anderson weaves a story of interpersonal relationsships, finding ways to deal with the pressures of life, and ultimately finding yourself in the midst of personal confusion.
Love and Peaches was certainly an entertaining read. The large cast of characters is well thought-out, and their stories are as juicy as peaches but simultaneously insightful. The symbolism was also quite striking, particularly with the presence of the orchard being such a life-changing aspect of their lives ever since that first summer working together there. It was perhaps a mixture of the juiciness of Gossip Girl (albeit toned-down), the feel-goodness of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and a touch of philosophical questions about our purpose in life.
I would highly recommend this novel to all fans of chick lit and especially those whom have read the previous books in the trilogy.
Being labelled in the chick lit genre, though, I doubt many would read the Peaches trilogy for its literary value despite the elegance in which Anderson storytells.