Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin {book review}


Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin {book review}.   Take a walk on the back roads of eastern Kentucky with Alice Grace Ripley, an avid devourer of fiction.

Summary:  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.

My Reaction:  Library copy.

Just love Lynn Austin’s writing. Less than 50 pages and I feel like I’m there, in the story. Awesome!

And it was awesome, all the way to the end! Characters are fabulous. The main character, from whose point of view the entire book is written (big plus in my book), Alice (in Wonderland – ha!), captures your heart from page one. You will find yourself reacting to her often. I can’t speak to the setting, having never been to Kentucky except on the Interstate.

The story keeps hopping from one exciting event to the next. Never a dull moment. The writing is wonderful, squeaky clean (of course), and multiple layers.

But the thing that separates Lynn’s writing from that of others (though there are a few authors who do so), is the strong line of faith in the story line. It is not just in the characters. It permeates the story, as it should all of life. It is not idealistic and church-y, but down-to-earth and practical faith. Miss Lillie is indeed a wise woman.

My Rating:  4 stars  I highly recommend Wonderland Creek, and all of Lynn Austin’s books. Check out all my reviews of Lynn Austin’s books.

This review is also on Goodreads and Christianbook.com.

View all my Goodreads reviews

About the Author: 

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband’s work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she’d earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother (age 98), and daughter concerning the change in women’s roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve’s Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn’s lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Eight of her historical novels, Hidden Places, Candle in the Darkness, Fire by Night, A Proper Pursuit, and Until We Reach Home have won Christy Awards in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, and 2009 for excellence in Christian Fiction. Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn’s novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

View the author’s website, her Facebook account, her Goodreads page,  her Twitter account, and her Pinterest account. You may wish to sign up for her occasional newsletter, as I did today, on her website.

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