Book Review: Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: October 1, 2011
Book Synopsis as Provided by the Publisher:
Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But the happily-ever-after life she's planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real one. To top it off, Alice loses her beloved library job because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.
Longing to run from small-town gossip, Alice flees to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the tiny coal-mining town of Acorn, a place with no running water, no electricity, and where the librarians ride ornery horses up steep mountain passes to deliver books. When Alice is forced to stay in Acorn far longer than she planned, she discovers that real-life adventure, mystery--and especially romance--may be far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.
Wonderland Creek was, quite simply, an absolute delight to read, and I enjoyed every moment that I was immersed in it's pages! Alice Grace Ripley is one of the most wonderful characters I've encountered in some time, primarily because she is a character who simply loves reading, and her quirks and tendencies are so very realistic that they kept me (and my wife) in stitches when we read certain scenes! I felt affinity with her right from the first chapter, where she covertly read a few pages of her book during a funeral because she had to find out what happened next, or when her boyfriend complained about her walking while reading and so walking into a lamp post! Oh, how many times in my past I've done similar things, even trying to drive once while skimming a page (horrendously dangerous I know and not a move I've repeated since).
Alice's adventures in the mountains of Kentucky as a pack horse librarian, taking care of the former slave, Lillie, and helping Mack uncover a mystery were absolutely entertaining to read about, filled with deep, tender moments interspersed with laugh-out-loud scenes. Alice's transformation throughout the story from a person with no gumption to a person confident in who God has made her to be is beautiful to behold. Most of all, I loved the faith that is revealed in the pages of this story, especially the truths uttered by Lillie, her ear attuned to God's Spirit, her prayers filled with faith and fervor. The romance that unfolds is sweet and natural and sure to leave you with a smile on your face.
Lynn Austin is a masterful story teller, and fans of her previous works will completely savor her newest release. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.