Sunday, May 6, 2012

Wonderland Creek

Author: Lynn Austin
Publisher: Bethany House
October 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0498-2
Genre: Inspirational/historical fiction

Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, with her nose stuck in a book. But the happily-ever-after she’s planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a fictional world instead of a real one. To tope it off, Alice loses her job at the library due to the Great Depression.

Longing to escape the gossip of her small town, Alice flees to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the coal mining town of Acorn—a place with no running water, no electricity, and where the librarians ride horses up steep mountain passes to deliver books. When Alice is forced to stay in Acorn for longer than her brief delivery visit, she discovers a real life adventure, mystery, and even romance that might be better than she ever imagined.

WONDERLAND CREEK is written in first person, but Ms. Austin is such a talented author that one soon forgets that part and is drawn into the story. I thought the story line had kind of a historical “chicky-lit” feel, but there is a lot more to it than that. Set in the Great Depression, this is also a story with a “Christy” theme, modern girl stuck in backwoods community complete with mountain people, superstitions, and folk lore.

This book is extremely slow starting, and Alice is at times very rude, like when she reads a book during someone’s funeral. I did enjoy the romance part of the story, and of course, watching Alice learn and adjust to living in an environment that is different than her natural one. Discussion questions are included at the end of the book. $14.99. 388 pages.

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