Review: The Priest And The Peaches – Larry Peterson
Often times, faith is something almost all of us have a hard time in having. Believing in something you can’t see is testing, most especially for those of us who have strayed from the Lord’s path. Believing in his goodness, in the fact that he’ll lead us along the righteous path, well, it can honestly be trying. The reason for this is because for some, the trials and tribulations they face along the way hard from them to place their trust in a being they’re really not sure exists.
For the Peaches, both young and old, their lives haven’t been that easy. The children lost their mother and grandmother at a very young age and have dealt with the consequences of their deaths ever since then. When their father falls ill, the children realize it’s another blow of disappointment they’ve been dealt with – a disappointment none of them wish to deal with just yet. Despite this, they’re determined to band together in hopes of helping their father through his ordeal.
The task of keeping the family afloat falls upon Joanie and Teddy’s hands, the oldest of the Peach children. Beeker, Dancer, and Joey don’t quite understand what’s going on, but for their father’s sake, they’re willing to pretend that everything is fine and dandy. Unbeknownst to the Peach children, their problems are just beginning.
When their father takes a turn for the worse and dies unexpectedly, Joanie, Teddy, and the children must find the strength within themselves to face the adversity that has now been lain at their feet. Their faith has been shattered and each one of them begin to wonder as to whether they’ll be able to bounce back from the brink of a darkness that seems intent on engulfing each and every one of them. Determined to pick up the pieces of a life they’d once known, Joanie and Teddy do their best to keep their family together.
The children’s unexpected saving grace arrives in the form of Father Sullivan, a man who believes completely in the blessings and virtues extoled by God himself. His faith is firmly cemented in the fact that God will provide for his flock no matter what happens along the way. Father Sullivan has tried to make this fact known to all those he meets wherever his feet have taken him. While there are a good many that shun the message he tries to deliver, he knows that there are a good many who will take the Lord’s words into their hearts and do the best they can with what they’ve been given – a certainty that becomes apparent when the safety and well-being of the Peach children inadvertently lands in his hands.
This was such a beautiful story. I enjoyed it immensely and recommend it to anyone for reading. It’s meaning, and the lessons found throughout the story, will touch a soul to its very core. While this is a Catholic fiction story, I think it’s one that will leave the person reading with a better understanding of God, of faith, of death, and even of life, be it whether they’re a religious person or not.
We’re able to feel the Peach family’s pain, their laughter, their fears, and their triumphs as they seek to make the most of a situation that is way out of their control. We’re able to watch a family grow within a period of seven days while faced with an adversity that, at times, seems to want to topple the family altogether. The fact that they’re able to bounce back and find strength and meaning within the very world they live in goes to show us that anything is possible only if you believe.
It’s like a Christian song that was taught to me when I was little, if your faith is like that of a small mustard seed, you can move mountains. The book made me realize that it’s very much true. Anything is possible, but only if you believe. More so, if you believe that God will be there with you no matter what comes your way.
An 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.
About The Author:
Larry Peterson was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. A former Metal Lather/Reinforcing Iron-worker, he left that business after coming down with MS. He, his wife and three kids moved to Florida 30 years ago. Larry began doing freelance newspaper commentary after graduating from
Tampa College in 1984.
His first children’s picture book, Slippery Willie’s Stupid, Ugly Shoes was published in 2011. In 2012, his full length novel, The Priest and the Peaches was released and he is presently working on the sequel.
He also has a blog (http://www.ThePriestandthePeaches.com) where he posts weekly commentary. He lives in Pinellas Park, Florida and his kids and six grandchildren all live within three miles of each other.
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