Wonderland Creek- Five Star Book Review

wonderland creek

5 Star Review of Wonderland Creek
by: Lynn Austin

Blue Island, Illinois
1936

‘I took so long remembering all these things that Mack finally said, “Don’t leave me hanging here, Alice. Please…tell me what you think?”’

Book Blurb:

I was perfectly content with my life–that is, until the pages of my story were ripped out before I had a chance to live happily ever after.
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 Thoughts:

From ‘If my life were a book, no one would read it’ to ‘no one would believe it’ Wonderland Creek takes us on an amusing and entertaining journey into the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, while giving us a taste of reality into the lives of those who lived through the Great Depression. Especially those in the hidden world of Wonderland Creek, a place untouched by the outside world, except for the closing of the coal mine due to the depression in the rest of the country.
Like Alice in Wonderland, Alice Ripley descends through the “rabbit hole” and into a world vastly different from the one she’s always known. Though, instead of falling asleep while her sister reads, Alice Ripley can’t help losing herself in books to the neglect of the real world around her. This girl entranced by fictional stories suddenly finds herself wrapped up into what she can only describe as ‘a poorly written novel.’ (That’s Alice’s description of the life she’s living, not actually the work of this author in Wonderland Creek. It was well-written. 😊 )
This is the third novel I’ve read written by Lynn Austin and I enjoyed it very much. One of my favorite parts was at the beginning of the book:
“You were reading a book during a funeral…Alice, how could you?”
“Well…it was a very good book.”
This sets the stage for what I felt was a very funny story. Not that it didn’t delve into the heart-breaking lives of the mountain people, it did, but the overall tone of the story is one of hilarity. From Alice’s attempts to understand mountain life to a fake funeral and a treasure hunt to the conniving of an hundred-year old lady, this story will have you in stitches.
I loved learning about the “book women,” librarians who carried books on horseback to those who would otherwise miss the joys of reading. If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating piece of history, click on this link: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/librarians-horseback-new-deal-book-delivery-wpa.

 

Lynn AustinAbout 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 Austin’s 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.

 

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