Twelve years had passed since the last Harvest Ball.
I was just eighteen when my hometown crowned me their Peach Queen with a blossom coronet. And I was eighteen when I left.
One tanked career, one badly timed glamour shoot and one dead boyfriend later, thirty-year-old Lottie Bentz is finally going home.
Back in the orchard town of Bonnievale, Lottie embarks on a radical declutter of her life, Marie Kondo-style. She casts out everything that got her into trouble: her phone, socials, make-up and a tendency to tell little white lies – to herself and others. But home has its own issues, not least Lottie’s staunchly feminist mother, who is furious with her.
When Lottie lands herself a place to stay in exchange for helping kindly Mrs Brooker try out the Kondo method, it seems like the perfect farm escape. That’s until Angus, Lottie’s former Peach King and heir to the Brooker orchards, makes it clear she’s not welcome – especially when Lottie’s declutter begins to stir up long buried memories and half-truths.
As Lottie finds her way back to herself, can she use her talents to coax Bonnievale and the Brookers out of the past? After all, everyone deserves to feel love, hope and the occasional spark of joy.
Read some great reviews from our Preview readers here:
Absolutely amazing, an easy 5 stars! Sasha Wasley weaves the most beautiful and touching story of family and self-discovery. I absolutely adored this book and did not want it to end, it was easy to become quickly immersed within the story. I loved how Sasha Wasley was able to make all the characters relatable which helped to bring the characters to life. I cannot wait to see what else this author writes. Rhiannon, WA, 5 Stars
What an amazingly written book! I was hooked from begging to end! The story was easy to read and the characters relatable. The author made you feel like you were part of the story itself. Definitely a book I’d recommend! Thankyou Better Reading for this advanced reader copy! Amy, ACT, 5 Stars
Lottie is just 18 when she is crowned her hometown Peach Queen and 18 When she leaves her hometown of Bonnievale. After one tanked career, one badly timed glamour shoot and one dead boyfriend, at age 30, Lottie returns to her hometown. Back home Lottie decides to declutter he life using the radical Marie Kondo method casting out everything that got her into trouble – her phone, social media, make-up and her tendency to lie. I absolutely loved this book with its gorgeous cover and wonderful story. It had that genuine country town feel where everyone knows everyone else and cares about them too. The book also gives an insight into farming life and the difficulties faced by those who own and work the farms. My favourite character is Mrs Brooker who offers Lottie a place to stay in exchange for teaching her the Kondo method and accepts Lottie as she is. However, Angus Brooker, Lottie’s former Peach King is not happy and makes it very clear she is not welcome. Spring Clean for the Peach Queen is a joy to read. Carolyn, WA, 5 Stars
I have to say firstly that I enjoyed this book immensely. The characters and their situations were totally believable, the use of language and Australian vernacular was relatable and I found myself wondering throughout the day what was going to happen next. Very easy to read–at times funny, at other times sad but I was always wanting to know what was going to happen next. I received an unproofed advance copy to read in exchange for an honest review–and as I was hooked from the opening page I will say this author has a new fan! Donna, VIC, 5 Stars
After a tragic event in the big city, Charlize Beste packs up her acting career and heads home. The former Peach Queen is scorned by her mother making Charlize AKA Lotte Bentz feel instantly unwelcome. Feeling abandoned she retreats to a local farm owned by her Peach King, Angus Brooker and his aging mother Mrs B. Using the Kondo method she methodically helps Mrs B organise her life while revaluating her own at the same time. There is so much to love about Spring Clean for the Peach Queen, the characters are heartfelt and come to life on the pages. I poured myself into this glorious story and felt a connection with each and every person as the narrative developed. Sasha Wasley’s writing style flowed from the pages and made the book extremely difficult to put down. At close to 500 pages a book of this size can be quite daunting but this one left me craving more and feeling a deep sadness on its completion. It will bring out all the feels and might just make you evaluate what sparks joy in your life. If you read one book this year make it Spring Clean for the Peach Queen! Cassandra, VIC, 5 Stars
It was an absolute pleasure reading Spring Clean for the Peach Queen by Sasha Wasley, it’s a beautiful and touching story and I didn’t want it to end! I wanted to savour every moment, I was totally hooked! Thirty-year-old celebrity Charlize Beste (Lottie) has decided no more lying or faking! After the trauma of her boyfriend dying and the scandal that hit afterwards, Lottie finally returns to her hometown of Bonnievale to escape the media frenzy. Bonnievale is an orchard town where she was crowned The Peach Queen when she was eighteen and still holds the title. She left town shortly afterwards. When her mother can’t forgive her for the recent scandal and Lottie doesn’t feel welcome at home she moves in with her mum’s friend Mrs Brooker who offers her a rundown caravan to live in. Mrs Brooker lives on a stone fruit farm with her son Angus aka ‘mountain man’ who is not keen to see that Lottie has moved in with them. Angus was the Peach King, crowned alongside Lottie twelve years ago. After she radically declutters her own life Lottie begins the Marie Kondo-style (the Life-changing magic of tidying) of decluttering with Mrs Brooker. Lottie is a now changed woman and she forms a beautiful relationship with the kindly Mrs Brooker that will touch your heart. I just loved this story it was so well written and mesmerising. The characters were well developed and the book cover is just gorgeous! Rural romance readers will love this tale but for those that aren’t keen on romance reads there is much more to this story and you may be surprised how much you love it too! I need to find more of this author’s books to read! Gloria, SA, 5 Stars
Such a good read that I found enjoyable from start to finish. Filled with believable, everyday characters this story of a mid-famed TV star ( Lottie Bentz) who has taken a step back from the screen and all it entails to refocus her beliefs and lifestyle amid the turbulence of a bitter and upsetting experience. Lottie returns to her roots in the small orchard town of Bonnievale to escape the city, media and her past “indiscretions”. Amid ongoing issues with her Mother, family, old friends and acquaintances she takes refuge in an old caravan owned by Mrs Brooker – a lovely, kind soul who adds some stability for Lottie to hold on to. Many fun moments as well as sad times which are so relatable and honest. A top read worthy of 5 stars and a book I have no hesitation to recommend for all who love a great story to read. Mick, SA, 5 Stars
Although difficult and sad in places, overall this novel was cosy and uplifting. Lottie’s journey of self-discovery back in her home town living with the Brooker’s was beautiful and brave. As she casts off the worst parts of herself, Lottie inspires others to declutter their lives and change for the better. She is a strong, caring character and ends up forging better relationships with her family, new friends, and a love interest named Angus. This book was slow and satisfying. Kristy, NSW, 5 Stars
I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would. Bonnievale’s Peach Queen Lottie went to the city to find fame as an aspiring actress and Instagram “celebrity”. She is now coming home to hide and recover after a scandal involving drugs, her boyfriend’s death and an ill-timed glamour spread in a men’s magazine. I thought I would find it difficult to connect with Lottie, but I adored her right from the start. I enjoyed all of the characters, even the ones that made me angry. Getting so involved in the characters’ lives that I laugh and cry with them, that I get angry when they are unfairly treated and cheer on their triumphs, is the reason that I read. I got lost in this story, and every time I put it down, I couldn’t wait to pick it back up again. There is a romance, but it is pretty low-key. This is more about family, heartache, love, loss, starting over and finding your place in the world. It’s also about being honest, true friendship and finding what sparks joy for you. A 5-star read. Jenny, NSW, 5 Stars
Spring Clean for the Peach Queen…in all honesty, this genre of book isn’t my usual go-to. In saying that though, I am so very glad I did!! I absolutely loved this book, it had me laughing and crying from the very beginning to the end. It’s full of love, loss, heartache, disappointment, personal growth and community spirit. From the beginning, you can really feel how lost Lottie Bentz is. Her career and life in the city have been shattered, which causes her to move back home to Bonnievale to get space from the life she once knew, but it seems that news has travelled to her hometown. Due to these circumstances, you follow Lottie as she shreds everything from her old life, to go back to bare essentials and find herself again. Over time, you see important relationships form and grow. This book really shows the importance of family, friends, community and that you cannot hold yourself back for others. I couldn’t recommend Spring Clean for the Peach Queen more, I think we all could learn something from this book. Nicole, VIC, 5 Stars
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Spring Clean for the Peach Queen. It’s a wholesome story that takes you on a roller coaster of emotions and then leaves you filled with hope. I loved the setting, so vividly described, you can genuinely feel as yourself part of the rural country Australian town. This book was hard to put down and I devoured it in a weekend. Stevie, NSW, 5 Stars
I loved this book. It had me hooked from the very first page and I couldn’t put it down. This book drew me in and right from the start as I felt like I could relate to the characters and couldn’t wait to see how things would turn out for each of them Nicole, NSW, 5 Stars
A smile crept onto my lips as soon as I read the dedication of this book- ‘Dedicated to young women in small towns with big dreams.’ I just love that! The young woman in this story is Lottie, who grew up wanting to be an actress. And she did just that – she followed her dreams and became an actress living an ‘insta-worthy’ life in the city under the name of Charlize. But the big life in the city didn’t work out for Charlize and after a scandal that puts her firmly in the spotlight, she runs back to her hometown of Bonnievale, where 12 years ago she was crowned Peach Queen to hideaway. Suddenly all of her priorities have shifted. In hopes of forgetting the past, Lottie begins a Marie Kondo style of decluttering her life. When her own mother can’t seem to forgive her, Lottie finds herself living in a rundown caravan on a Peach farm, home to Mrs Brooker and her son Angus (who was crowned Peach King with Lottie all those years ago). Lottie forges a relationship with Mrs Brooker and their blossoming friendship will leave your heart a little tender. Angus appears less than thrilled about Lottie’s arrival, but of course, that will just have you rooting for them to get together even more! The romance leaves you feeling gushy. There are some fantastic characters in this one – each with their own clear voices and plenty to bring a smile onto your face. The author has successful created a beautiful small-town feel and I’m sure readers of Rural Romance are going to love this one. The story will make readers consider their own dreams and it pulls into focus what is really important in life. What can we declutter from our own lives and what brings us joy? Reading this book certainly brought me joy! Thank you to Pantera Press and the Better Reading Preview campaign for the copy of the book. Kaneana, NSW, 5 Stars
Lottie was named Peach Queen when she was 18 in her home town. She then chose to follow her dreams of being an actress in the city. After major dramas in her life, she escapes back to Bonnievale away from the media and her so-called friends. She finds herself living with lovely Mrs Brooker and her son Angus. This is a well-written book that I really enjoyed. I loved the characters especially Lottie. She was trying to better to herself which I thought was excellent. Laughter and tears throughout. I recommend this book. This is the first book of Sasha Wasley’s I have read but I will be looking for more. Renee, QLD, 5 Stars
Spring Clean for the Peach Queen by Australian author Sasha Wasley is an absolute country delight. Lottie Bentz left her orchard town of Bonnievale at the age of eighteen where she was crowned Peach Queen. She wanted adventure and not to be stuck in a small town but twelve years later at the age of thirty Lottie returns home. With an ended career behind her due to a wild night out that ended in a tabloid scandal after her boyfriend was found dead, Lottie decides to make some radical changes to steer her life in the right direction for ultimate happiness. When she returns home she does not get the welcome she quite hoped for. Lottie decides to do a Marie Kondo method clean-up for her current situation and begins keeping only what speaks to her heart and discards items that no longer spark joy. Mrs Brooker a town resident offers Lottie a place to stay in exchange for help on her farm she takes up the opportunity and moves in. All is going well until Angus who was her Peach King makes life difficult for Lottie and is very clear he does not want her in town which frustrated me a great deal as everyone deserves a second chance. Spring Clean for the Peach Queen is a wonderful read; the story is heart-warming with beautiful characters that take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride. I loved how Lottie found her peace, walking away from situations that threatened her peace of mind, self-respect, values, morals and self-worth. I found Mrs Brooker to be such a lovely character full of warmth and hope for Lottie. I highly recommend this novel. Thank you Better Reading and Bloomsbury for my advance copy to read in exchange for a review. Melissa, SA, 5 Stars
I absolutely loved this book! Touching and funny with a fabulous cast of lovable characters, providing a peek into small community life, I didn’t want it to end! Rachel, QLD, 5 Stars
Sasha Wasley’s Spring Clean for the Peach Queen is equal parts delightful, entertaining, heartbreaking and bittersweet. A story of family, friends, values and honesty set in a quiet country town struggling to recover from a devastating crop disease, where it turns out everyone has their own troubles to deal with. Lottie is a genuine and heartfelt main character, and Angus a brooding yet thoughtful farmer while Mrs B would be everyone’s favourite grandma – warm, loving and with serious cooking skills when they don’t fail her. I would highly recommend Spring Clean for the Peach Queen, but be sure to have tissues to hand! Im, VIC, 5 Stars
Loved it and my favourite read so far this year. Charlize (Lottie) returns to the small rural town where she grew up after her celebrity lifestyle and questionable choices force her to rethink her life. But things don’t go to plan on her return home either. Her mother’s cool reception and refusal to speak to her see her living in a wreck of a caravan on her mother’s friend, Mrs Brooker’s fruit farm. The fun begins as Lottie struggles to work out who she is, where she fits in and what’s important in her life, beginning by following (loosely) the Marie Kondo method of decluttering. The characters are believable, especially Lottie, Angus and Mrs Brooker – she is a sweetheart and the complete opposite of her grumpy son, Angus. The story is beautifully told and weaves together the characters and their relationships, struggles and life in a small country town. It had me laughing out loud one minute and shedding a few tears the next. The writing style is easy to read and drew me straight into the story. I cared about the characters and what happened to them. Sad when I reached the end. Great for lovers of Australian fiction. I will definitely search for other novels by this author. Pamela, QLD, 5 Stars
This book, with its gorgeous cover, sparked joy for me! I absolutely loved it and didn’t want it to end. I found it very relatable because the author got her inspiration from the Swan Valley in WA and also from a town in the south-west and for me being born and bred in WA these places are familiar. The character descriptions are brilliant and I had a few favourites. I liked the kind and motherly Mrs Brooker. The author writes about dementia and describes it very well for the person living with it and what it’s like for their loved ones. I loved Angus, the mountain man/grumpy hermit with an anaphylactic death wish. Lottie, the main character makes some massive changes in her life and somehow other characters end up along for the ride with her. I loved reading about jam and cake baking. The Marie Kondo method gets used a bit and the decluttering sessions were fun and oddly satisfying to read about. There is some romance, but not mushy or overdone. There is some quirky Aussie humour throughout and a bit of sadness as well. I also like how the author described how farmers and orchardists have to adapt to overcome hardships and try new things. Overall, a really well-written story that I highly recommend. Tracy, WA, 5 Stars
Reading Spring Clean for the Peach Queen feels like receiving a warm hug from a friend as author Sasha Wasley takes us into a tight-knit rural Australian community and the unpredictable beauty of its peach orchards. Narrated by its protagonist, Lottie is a young woman on a Marie Kondo inspired kick to find out what sparks joy in her life after time away in the spotlight. Lottie is supported by an eclectic cast of characters ranging from the kind-hearted Mrs B, prickly Aunt Pris, a feminist mother and her former Peach King, Angus. The relationship between Lottie and Angus is as beautifully unpredictable as the peach orchards, as this book keeps you guessing with as many twists and turns as a winding country road. I found Lottie relatable as a modern-day woman trying to figure out her place in the world with wit to boot. Mrs B is also a firm favourite of mine as her kindness and copious amounts of tea made me want to join her for a cuppa and make friends. Furthermore, Sasha Wasley brilliantly encapsulates the beauty, danger and serenity of rural Australia and the love, bad blood and courage found within a tight-knit community. This book had me up reading into the early hours of the morning to find out what happens next, not only to Lottie but to Angus, Mrs B and the peach orchards who come alive through Wasley’s writing. Certainly sparks joy for me! Emma, ACT, 5 Stars
In today’s world, what you look like and who you hang out with, social media bloggers will insist this is real life. This story needs to be read to be reminded of what is really important in life. Lottie was once a “beautiful person” engaged in a false world but a tragic event caused her to seek comfort and isolation in her hometown of Bonnievale. Family dynamics and old wounds are woven around tales of life on the land and struggles of nature and the mind. The town events and characters are explored so well that the reader feels part of this story. This story of a once booming orchard town made me cry, smile and feel the love. Wonderful book. Shelley, NSW, 5 Stars
Spring Clean for the Peach Queen was a great Aussie story, dealing with celebrity and family. The characters were mostly very genuine and the story carried me with it easily. I enjoyed it and will look forward to further stories from this author. Tracy, VIC, 5 Stars
Wow! Couldn’t put Spring Clean for the Peach Queen down. Sasha Wasley really captured a typical country town, the locals and secrets. So many secrets which are only talked about behind closed doors, how they fester and often the result is tragedy. Lottie coming home to start life over brings problems to a head. Angus, very broken and fragile. Both complex characters with many emotional problems who gradually mend. This book shows great understanding for country life and country people. An awesome read. looking forward to Sasha’s next novel. Judy, WA, 5 Stars
I loved Spring Clean for the Peach Queen by Sasha Wasley. Lottie Bentz has left her career in the limelight, and moved home to her home town to reassess her life. As well as dealing with her mother’s disapproval of her life choices, and finding her way back in a small town, Lottie ends up staying and helping Mrs. broker, despite opposition from Mrs Brookers son, Angus. The story proves things are not always as they seem, it was written well and as a reader, you experience highs and lows. I would thoroughly recommend it. Fay, VIC, 5 Stars
Victoria I loved this book from the moment I picked it up, the cover is beautiful. Lottie discovers that you can’t always go back to how it was. Not everyone is forgiving A lovely story of rediscovered love. Bridget, VIC, 5 Stars
This is a wonderful tale of (Charlize) Lottie who returns to her home town after 12 years away. She turned 18 and when she won the Peach Queen festival, she left to make her fame and fortune in the city. Things didn’t turn out quite the way she’d planned and amidst a scandal, she came home to find herself again. Lottie focuses on the Marie Kondo style of decluttering, both her home and her life. She assists others to perform this as well, reminding them to keep the things that bring a spark of joy and discarding the rest, respectfully. The characters are beautifully drawn and you feel as though they are among your friends. There are laughs and tears, and quite a few sparks of joy. I really enjoyed Sasha’s writing and would recommend this book to those who enjoy Australian fiction, with a little bit of romance thrown in. Thanks to Pantera Press and Better Reading for an Uncorrected proof. This book will be staying on my shelf. It brought me joy. Karan, VIC, 5 Stars
Wow! When I received this advanced copy of “Spring Clean for the Peach Queen” my first thought was how pretty it was. We are told not to judge a book by its cover, but in this case, the story inside is truly beautiful as well. Such warm, likeable characters, all with their own challenges and all in need of a good spring clean of some aspect of their lives. For Lottie, it’s a full life overhaul- career, reputation and lifestyle choices. Caroline needs help with the physical clutter taking over her home, while Angus needs to rid himself of the emotional baggage he’s been holding on to. I loved how the characters evolved throughout the emotional decluttering process and really found the things that sparked joy in their lives. This was a really heartwarming read, which I would highly recommend. Thank you Better Reading for the opportunity to review this book. L, VIC, 5 Stars
I was initially drawn to read “Spring Clean for the May Queen” because of the play on words from the Led Zeppelin song, but the array of country characters kept me reading. Charlotte returns to her home town of Bonnievale after a tragedy in her high profile life as an actress. She is looking for the simplicity of country ways to heal her pain, but she soon discovers that even small country towns have their secrets and tragedies. Her mother will not forgive her for letting down the feminist ideals she was raised with, so she is left with tender mercies of gentle neighbour Mrs Brooker. Together they venture into Mrs Brooker’s spare room to find the things (and people) that truly ‘spark joy’….and Charlotte’s life takes an unpredictable new turn. Tracy, SA, 4 Stars
This book wasn’t my usual genre but I was definitely hooked. The main character was refreshing, charming and interesting and I enjoyed occupying her mind for 400 pages. The romantic interest was a slow burn for me but by the end, I was completely on board. And that final moment was perfection – if I hadn’t bought in by then, I would have found it cheesy and predictable but I was 1000% by then. An excellent romantic story that was believable and realistic is pretty rare, I am very glad I read this one. Richard, VIC, 4 Stars
Spring clean for the peach queen is an entertaining novel. The great Australian characters remind you of home 8f you have ever lived in a small town. This novel was realistic and unique. It’s also relevant with social media being in the news lately. It shows the real-life behind what happens when you switch off technology for a while. This is a novel created for women but I loved it also. It has that Australian true to earth feel. The characters leave you feeling emotional. I loved the peach farm and am now craving homemade jams and scones like I used to buy at fund-raisers. Thanks for a great read, now I’m going to cook my pumpkin scones! Raymond, WA, 4 Stars
It made me laugh, it made me cry and just like the Marie Kondo method; it sparked joy. Lottie has lost her way but ultimately through spring cleaning her life she has found what is most important, thus ultimately saving her. Finding the courage to accept what’s been done, be vulnerable and put one’s pride aside to do what is right not what everyone expects you to do, or be. If you’ve ever driven to any small town in Australia you really get a sense of that in this book. With a great uplifting story and a beautiful cover to match Spring Clean for the Peach Queen was a delight to read. Binna, NSW, 4 Stars
Lorraine Williams South Australia Spring Clean for the Peach Queen was a delightful book set in a small country town in Australia. The story of Lottie returning to her home town after several years away was inspiring and beautifully presented. Basic human kindness is the message here with romance, drama and decluttering thrown in… I have been inspired already! There is a beautiful message of finding love when you least expect it and I didn’t want this book to end. Thank you to Pantera Press and Better Reading for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book by talented author Sasha Wasley. Lorraine, SA, 4 Stars
Spring Clean for The Peach Queen is a sweet, easy to read book with a romantic Aussie flavour to it. Just like her previous works such as Dear Banjo, Wasley has you feeling all the feels, one minute you will be laughing and then the next silently sobbing with despair. Wasley has a knack for developing her characters beautifully relatable especially for those who have grown up in small towns like me. I found myself relating the characters back to people from my hometown. With this novel, Wasley has cemented herself as a must-read/buy author in my life. Mel, NSW, 4 Stars
I’m so sorry to the author, but this book was…soooo boring. The characters were 2 dimensional, with nothing about them that I could use to imagine them as real people. The story had possibility, but it was just too boring for my taste. Kirstie, WA, 1 Star