Review Redux: “The Priest and The Peaches”
The Priest and the Peaches by Larry Peterson captures the life of the newly orphaned Peach kids as they struggle in the aftermath of their father’s death and plan his funeral. This touching tale of faith and hope offers a glimpse into the lives of this working class Catholic family set in 1960’s Bronx, NY. Steeped in faith and laced with humor Peterson’s tale delivers a powerful message “to love thy neighbor.”
This was an emotional and heartbreaking tale. This dysfunctional family has seen a lot of heart-ache. They lost their mother to leukemia; their grandma stepped in to help and recently passed away. Mr. Peach suffers from grief at the lost of his wife and turns to the bottle. The church and Father Sullivan step into help, but sadly the liquor takes its toll, leaving eighteen year old Teddy and seventeen year old Joanie to care for their three younger siblings. Teddy really steps up and tries to take care of them. Each of the kids is suffering and shows it differently. The youngest, Joey, thinks he is having conversations with his Dad. Add a nosy neighbor named Beatrice, an Aunt named Vera and a couple of drunks, you get quite the tale.
While I found parts of the tale to be rough, like the dialogue, (which might be expected from Bronxites) the overall message and tale was delightful. I enjoyed the lively cast of characters and their antics. Peterson captures their thoughts and emotions giving them depth. This was a quick and easy read that I finished in just a few hours. Peterson provides a touching tale of family, survival, faith, and hope. LYN.