The New York Times bestselling debut novel from critically acclaimed author Jodi Lynn Anderson follows three very different girls as they discover the secret to finding the right boy, making the truest of friends, and picking the perfect Georgia peach.
Murphy McGowen has bright green eyes, a reputation as the wildest girl in Bridgewater, and a way of getting out of all the trouble she gets into. But when she's caught stealing from the Darlington Orchard, she's forced to repay her debt picking peaches in the hot Georgia sun.
Leeda Cawley-Smith has professionally whitened teeth and the softest skin her boyfriend has ever touched. Unfortunately, Leeda's parents aren't too keen on her being touched anymore. Now Leeda's country-club summer is out the window—she'll be getting a serious sock tan working at her uncle's peach orchard instead.
Birdie Darlington used to dance around her family's orchard picking peaches for fun. But now that her parents are getting divorced, Birdie would rather spend the summer in the A/C eating Thin Mints than pick another peach—too bad she doesn't have a choice.
Thrown together at Darlington Orchard, Murphy, Leeda, and Birdie discover what it means to find a real soul mate, and that sometimes cute boys know a lot about peach cider. And, of course, they learn the trick to picking a perfect peach. One thing's for sure—it's going to be a juicy summer.
In a novel about broken hearts, broken spirits and the healing power of friendship, Anderson profiles three one-of-a-kind Georgia "peaches," a trio of teenage girls who converge at Darlington Orchard during picking season. There's plump and sweet Birdie Darlington, a sheltered, homeschooled girl, whose father owns the orchard and is on the verge of going bankrupt. Then there's her perfect-on-the-outside cousin, Leeda Cawley-Smith, who has everything a girl could want (except her mother's love). Last but not least is tart Murphy McGowen: beautiful, brilliant and wild. Despite their different backgrounds and personalities, the three girls have two things in common. All have been coerced (for different reasons) to spend spring break and a long hot summer working alongside more experienced migrant pickers, and all three girls carry the weight of discontent to the orchard. Alternating the characters' points of view, the author delves into the teenagers' family conflicts, problematic romances and secret longings. while tracing how they slowly, cautiously form bonds of camaraderie with each other. Descriptions of the scent of the orchard, the flavor of the peaches, the sting of fire ants, the cheerful chatter from workers and the beauty of the landscape form an enticing backdrop. Anderson's tale encapsulates the state of ennui and anticipation that accompanies the last stretch of adolescence. Ages 14-up. .
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