Book Review: Who Said Peaches Were Perfect? by Tracy Nicole

Thursday, 02 September 2010 14:44 Written by  Nicole Walker

Tracy Nicole, entrepreneur turned novelist, outlines the lives of two cousins who grew up as sisters as they work out life and love in Atlanta. Torie and Lisa are both in their prime. Both are beautiful, educated and are set up to head towards bright futures, but each is searching for her own missing piece of the success puzzle.

peachesTorie seems to have it all: She is confident, has perfect looks and figure, and always seems to have a man most women would desire. She is particular with the way she presents herself to the world. With her Rock & Republic jeans and Jimmy Choo bag, one would think she has more than enough disposable income – until it is revealed that she steals from time to time. “It pays to know people,” she reveals.

Lisa is attempting to cope with the helplessness she feels in her life. Her non-assertiveness is evident when we see that she can’t stand up to her messy roommate, who steals her clothes. “Have you seen my jeans?” she manages to ask her after spying them on her roommate’s body, but she does nothing to retrieve them. We wonder where her lack of confidence comes from. She has an involved mother who takes notice of changes and important events in her life: “You not havin’ any problems with your eatin’ again, are you?” she asks when greeting her and advises her to “get more of a backbone” when told about the roommate without boundaries.

Torie is torn between two men. Ryan is a successful professional baseball player who could give her all of the material trappings and lifestyle status she desires. Just as she is beginning to get comfortable with Ryan, she meets Kenny who is handsome, kind and emotionally available but mysterious. We journey with Torie as she explores the world of ballers’ wives’ culture and feel both enticed and repulsed along with her. Will Torie choose to be with Ryan and everything he represents, or will she choose Kenny who is always there for her but may not measure up to her lifestyle standards?

Punctuating the lives of Lisa and Torie is Kim, a sassy, smart-mouthed Latina whose character provides flourish more than substance. She is meant to be an alternative example of a liberated, confident woman who carries her size twelve body with pride and is never satisfied with the man she is currently dating. She is reminiscent of those women who crave drama yet chase after it in every relationship she seeks. Her sassy commentary, such as, “…I’m a fine-ass size twelve. Men love my thick Latina body, so quit hating on me, por favor!” does not lend much to the forward progress of the story and even comes across as stereotypical at times. At best, Kim could be considered comic relief, as her character is not developed enough to examine and follow.

While Torie has a tremendous time flirting with handsome, successful and available men of Atlanta, Lisa deals with whether or not to end her relationship with her physically abusive boyfriend Jay. The relationship is yet another manifestation of her self-esteem issues and she self-medicates through bulimia. Lisa is not unfamiliar with domestic violence: Her aunt – Torie’s mother – died at the hands of her husband. Still, she tries to convince herself that he really is a good guy underneath it all and that he is just misunderstood. She is torn between staying with him because she believes he needs her and leaving him because she knows she should not be treated this way. In Jay, Tracy Nicole paints a convincing portrait of a young man who has had a troubled upbringing and who chooses to take out his frustrations on a woman he claims to love because of it. Perhaps some young woman who thumbs through these pages will see herself in Lisa and realizes the changes she has to make before it is too late.

Both Torie and Lisa are women we easily recognize in our friends, families and co-workers. We don’t need to search our hearts long to find sympathy in their plights. The main characters are developed enough to know them. We know of women who are not only looking for love but who also need it packaged in our community’s opinion of the perfect man. Tracy Nicole should be commended for touching on some hidden issues in the lives of Black women. Although many would acknowledge that domestic violence remains present community, it is often swept under a rug until famous faces – like Rhianna and Chris Brown – appear and force us to confront the issue. Also, the Black voices of the eating disordered remain silenced, as though they don’t exist. In fact, women who have gained the courage to reach out and get help are told that anorexia and bulimia are for white girls, insulting women who are already suffering with self-esteem and control issues. Although Who Said Peaches Were Perfect? remains a light read, the author clearly intends for her audience to ponder over the roots and outcomes of these problems. She wants us to recognize them when we see them.

Who Said Peaches Were Perfect? is the perfect companion for end of summer beach lounging and margaritas for the twenty- to thirty-something set. It is a quick read and could be deemed Black chick-lit, the sometimes darker subject matter notwithstanding. Get this read in before you head back home from your vacation or back to work on Monday. Better yet, add it to your book club list and bond with your sister-friends who can either relate to Torie and Lisa or at least know one in their circle.


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Nicole’s Facts: Nicole Walker has been a writer for 10 years and has had poetry published in the University of Georgia's Stillpoint literary magazine.  She is currently working on a short story collection. She can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Nicole Walker

Nicole Walker

Nicole Walker has been a writer for 10 years and has had poetry published in the University of Georgia's Stillpoint literary magazine.  She is currently working on a short story collection.

She can be contacted at