Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Review: Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate

Book Cover and Synopsis:
Allie Kirkland has never been one to take wild risks. But when she’s offered a costuming assistant’s job on a docudrama in the hills near Moses Lake, she jumps at the chance. She’s always dreamed of following in her director-father’s footsteps, and the reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step. The family expectations will have to wait.

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delevan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the folk songs of Chinquapin Peaks. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.

When strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, everyone in Wildwood, including Allie’s handsome neighbor on the film set, Blake Fulton, seems to be hiding secrets, and Allie doesn’t know who she can trust. If she can’t find the answers in time, history may repeat itself . . . with the most unthinkable results.

My source for book: Local Library
My Thoughts:
I admit that I'm generally drawn towards more "fluffy" fiction, which Wildwood Creek is not, but I actually did enjoy it for the most part. The idea of recreating a 19th century town is really cool, especially when you throw 21st century people into the setting and watch them freak out without modern clothes or technology. At the same time you get an inside look at a reality tv show, and how they aren't quite as "real" as you might think. Talk about mixing the old with the new, but it actually works quite well!

The author has some very good insights into human behavior, which transfers well to the characters. Allie's quotes from her late grandma are charming and surprisingly helpful for many situations; some of them were even applicable to my own life! I was also really touched when Blake saw through Wren's bratty little-kid exterior, instead seeing a little girl who just wanted a friend. If only we could have that kind of insight in real life! :)

As for the ending, I have to say that it seemed a bit rushed to me. The last few chapters really throw a lot at you! I was surprised, and somewhat disappointed, by the reveal of a villain in the form of a person I had actually been really curious about. I'd been wanting to know more about this person, and I sure got it--just not in the way I had hoped for! In hindsight it actually does make sense, but the twist just really caught me off guard, coming very much out of the blue.

Overall, I'm glad I read the story. The entire plot and setting is very unique, giving you a lot to think and ponder on. I enjoy both historical and contemporary stories, so this being a mix of the two was enjoyable. While I'm not sure the characters themselves will be very memorable for me in the long run, I do think the overall premise will probably stick with me for quite a while. 

My Rating: 4 stars

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