When you read a realistic book that is not all happy and wonderful - it isn't always the easiest to read - BUT it is one of my favorite types of books. I don't need everything to be rosy - realistic is ok too. The Priest and the Peaches by Larry Peterson is one of those books - in fact, it started out SO rough that I wondered if it could be too far fetched - five children left to rear themselves as they've lost a mother, grandmother, AND father. But Peterson does a nice job of weaving humor into this story and the kids truly make their own fun - in spite of their circumstances. This historical fiction tale is set in the Bronx in the mid-1960's and is strong with interesting tidbits set in this time period. I was drawn to the character of Father Tim Sullivan who takes the children under his wing and loves on them with the love much like that of their Heavenly Father. The family theme is powerful and the characters are strong - at some points in the story, I felt it dragging a bit, but for the most part - I was drawn to finish the story and see how the kids worked to succeed in spite of their situation, neighbors, lack of parents, etc. Larry Peterson shows his creative abilities by writing a heartwarming picture book, Slippery Willie's Stupid, Ugly Shoes, previous to this and now, a novel that makes it worth turning every page.
*I was sent a copy by the publisher for review purposes.