Monday, December 5, 2011
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, Gordon, breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real world. Then to top it off, Alice loses her beloved job at the library because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.
Fleeing small-town gossip, Alice heads to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to a library in the tiny coal-mining village of Acorn. Dropped off by her relatives, Alice volunteers to stay for two weeks to help the librarian, Leslie McDougal.
But the librarian turns out to be far different than she anticipated--not to mention the four lady librarians who travel to the remote homes to deliver the much-desired books. When Alice is trapped in Acorn against her will, she soon finds that real-life adventure and mystery--and especially romance--are far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.
I like Lynn Austin and I love stories about bookish women. Wonderland Creek sounded fantastic and I was excited to read it. And while I did enjoy the story, it didn't quite live up to my expectation. I liked Alice for the most part, but I couldn't quite believe she was as clueless as she was made out to be. Reading a book during a funeral, simply because it was dull? I'm sorry. I love books, and I can guarantee that I usually have a book in my bag at all times. However, I would never, ever, pull it out during a funeral and read.
Alice's adventure in Acorn, Kentucky brings many quirky characters into her life and I loved Mac and Lillie. She also finds herself having experiences she could never have imagined. Overall, the premise is a bit implausible, but it's also compelling and you want to finish the book to find out what really happens.
I found the historical aspect of packhorse librarians fascinating. To make books available to those who lived away from town or in the back hollows of America is a relief program I could support.
Thanks to Bethany House for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Lynn Austin here. You can purchase your own copy here.
* * *