Friday, December 2, 2011

Review: Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Yikes! I'm afraid I've been somewhat remiss in posting reviews lately. I fear things won't get less busy until after Christmas, so this may be my last post of the year. If it is, be assured that I'll be back next year with plenty more reviews! ;) And now, on to Wonderland Creek....

My rating: 4 stars
When book-lover Alice Ripley was let go from her library job, she never would've guessed she was about to be pulled into an adventure of novel proportions!

Up to this point Alice has lead a safe but mostly boring life, keeping her nose in a book most of the time. When her boyfriend dumps her and she loses her job, Alice feels a need to get away and ponder the direction of her life. Hitching a ride with her Aunt and Uncle, they drop her off in the little mountain town of Acorn, Kentucky, with a promise to return for her in two weeks.

Alice has been corresponding with the librarian in Acorn; after hearing of the mountain people's desperate need for books Alice started a book-drive and has collected 5 boxes full. This roadtrip offers her the chance to deliver the books in person, and while she's there she plans to volunteer at the library for the two weeks until her Aunt and Uncle return for her. There's no time to write and ask if this is okay, but Alice assumes it will be. After all, Alice is bringing 5 boxes of donated books; she will be openly welcomed, right? Amusingly, Alice is shocked to find things in Kentucky are not at all what she expected, and that's where this story really takes off.

Wonderland Creek was really a unique read for me, the story isn't like anything I've read before. The amount of things packed into this story is amazing: mystery, intrigue, attempted shootings, faked deaths, a 60 year old feud between two mountain clans, romance, packhorse librarians!, and the list goes on and on, but if I said anything else it would be too spoiler-ish.

Initially I had a smidge of trouble really latching on to the story, but eventually I got sucked in and really wanted to see what would happen next, and how things would end up. This is definitely a unique and well-done story, and you know, I think it has something for just about everyone! Check it out, I think you'll be happy!

One more thing I want to say:
Back cover art of Wonderland Creek.
The cover art on this book is simply gorgeous! Sometimes I'd just stare at it before I started reading, and I could just about imagine walking down that dirt road with the dreamy clouds hanging above. The back is just as stunning, showing Alice on a white horse (Belle), again done in that sort of dreamy coloring. Absolutely marvelous!

My rating: 4 stars 

(I received this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, a positive review was not required.)