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 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.
I should start by saying that I’m a big fan of Marie Kondo – I’ve read her book and binged the Netflix series – so I was intrigued when I picked up Sasha Wasley’s latest novel, Spring Clean for the Peach Queen. And I have to admit… this book definitely sparked joy! Spring Clean for the Peach Queen is a deeply moving story about forgiving, finding joy and falling in love with life again. It’s the perfect novel for readers of small-town Aussie fiction, family sagas and Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up.
There’s so much to love about this book: the small-town setting is gorgeous and vividly portrayed, there’s some fabulous female characters – from disgraced, up-and-coming actress Charlize (Lottie), to the generous and kindly Mrs Brooker. Wasley even weaves in a nice, slow-burn romance that was enjoyable to follow without ever becoming overly mushy or taking away from the rest of the plot.
I haven’t read any of Wasley’s other novels, but I’ll certainly be checking out her backlist after reading this. After a long and busy week, this book was the perfect cure: it’s heart-warming, life-affirming and utterly fabulous. Do yourself a favour and add Spring Clean for the Peach Queen to your TBR list this weekend. Sparks of joy will follow!