Friday, January 20, 2012

The Priest and the Peaches


On the blog tour, January 20th - check out Larry Peterson's Guest Post TODAY at Moonlight Book Reviews

The Priest and the Peaches
by Larry Peterson
Published 12/21/11
by Tribute Books

The Priest and the PeachesPremise: Ganked from Goodreads: 
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, unchartered 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.

Get your hands on a copy for only $4.99 or less:
  Amazon for Kindle
  Barnes & Noble for Nook
  iTunes for iPhone or iPad
  pdf via Payloadz

My Review:

This story has depth. For starters, an only parent dies.

There are five kids of a wide range of ages. The oldest is nearly 18 and finds himself thrust into leadership and responsibility all of sudden along with his sister, the next oldest. At the beginning of the story, their father dies suddenly, right around Christmas.  There is the stark reality of sorrow to deal with as well as Christmas and funeral services, not to mention bills and simple survival.

Each of the Peach kids have their own personality. I could picture each of them with their ages and characters. I thought it was great that Teddy was confronted with the close relationship with his girlfriend and having the strength to make a decision separately from the emotional upheaval of the moment.

This book is also a peek into being a Catholic - the Priest is a great character with so much depth of love and acceptance and listening.  The rituals were not familiar to me, but they were described well.

The author follows the moment-by-moment adjustments, the realities and the joys. I liked the way he scraped the bottom of emotions and found that near-hysterical comedy that is as much as a relief as tears.

Just as the time frame is short, one week, the book is a fast read. Yet every character is given room to grow and change, which makes it endearing.

View larrypeterson.jpg in slide showColorimetry welcomes Larry Peterson - author of The Priest and the Peaches.

* What drew you to writing this book?
Good question. For starters, let me say that although this is primarily a work of fiction, all fiction (at least in my mind) comes from, in essence,  who we really are. My brothers and sister did lose our parents when we were very young and, trust me, it was quite the everday adventure moving forward. Having said that I must admit that I never planned to write a book based on any of that. Anyway, about five years ago our brother, Bobby, died unexpectedly. We all are very close and it was a tough time. At the funeral we were sitting around reminiscing about the "good old days" and all of the crazy stuff that had went on back then. We had a great time and laughter and back slapping ruled and this was at his funeral. For me, it was a beautiful thing. So I guess his funeral is what "drew" me to eventually write the book based on  things that happened 45 years ago. Like I said, the book is fiction and many of the characters and incidents are fictional. The five kids are based on real people. My daughter, who is a social-worker, believes I did this for therapeutic reasons. Maybe I did. I don't know.

* It is so sad to think of five kids dealing with the death of their father, what is the beauty behind the sadness?
       The beauty behind their sadness lies in the fact that they were able to join together as a family and to be able to L-Y-N (love your neighbor) as they began their separate journey's through life. It was a legacy from their deceased father who had bequeathed that quality to them.

* What is your favorite part about your book, no spoilers, if possible!!
      The ending and I won't spoil anything by mentioning  it.

* Share something personal  -
      I never mentioned this or owned up to it or---well, I'm a movie crier. It's probably ridiculous but I even cried at the end of "Christmas Story" the other night when Ralphie finally got his Red-Ryder BB Gun. What got me (again) was the look on his dad's face (Darren McGavin). He was just so happy that he could do that for his boy and all he did was display a slight smile of satisfaction. Great job of acting at that moment. It got to me.  LOL