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.
I was given an e-copy of The Priest and the Peaches to review for Tribute Books, which I was very excited about. I enjoy reading Young Adult fiction, not only for a little lighter reading for myself, but so that I can pass along suggestions to my young adults. I would recommend this book for teens who are capable of dealing with the harsh realities of children who are suddenly orphaned.
I didn't read the book summary when I agreed to review the book, nor did I read it before I actually began the book! Consequently, I floundered around a while trying to figure out exactly when and where the book was set, and being surprised that it looked like it was going to be a very depressing book. I know there are families who try to shield their children from books where the parents die---if you read the summary, consider yourself warned!
The subject matter is a bit off-putting, but I think it was worth it in the end. It's sad to see this family of 5 kids suddenly thrust into the real world and no longer sheltered by the love of their parents. Their father's behavior seems less than admirable, but the lesson they learned from him changes their lives. The priest, Fr. Sullivan, doesn't have a very large role in the book, yet he is an important character as he shares with the children the ways God is working in their lives. He also helps them understand their father and their neighbors better, and the wacky "LYN" with accompanying hand sign that their dad always used takes on a whole new meaning for them.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of The Priest and the Peaches is seeing how the children are touched by the people that their father touched. He was not the most attentive father after the death of his wife, but people all over town knew him as a loving and caring man. There are definitely lessons to be learned from this book as the Peach children pick up their shattered lives and find out what it really means to love your neighbor.
You can purchase it on Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Smashwords, or buy the ebook in PDF form.