Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wonderland Creek



Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But 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.

Longing to run from small-town gossip, Alice flees to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the library in the tiny coal-mining village 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 Review:
How's this for an opening line: "If my life was a book, no one would read it." Told in first-person, Alice goes on to prove herself wrong in this funny and poignant and completely spell-binding story. I bonded with Alice on the very first page -- I mean how could I resist a passionate bibliophile with a penchant for getting into trouble? Alice may live in the pages of her beloved books when we first meet her but she quickly begins writing her own absorbing story when life happens...in a really big way.

This book is full of surprises and priceless gems of wisdom and humour and tender romance, not to mention the deeper kind. It's Alice's journey out of fiction and into the real world and it's a marvel to watch her eyes open as she sees reality for the first time. She fights it tooth and nail, of course, feet dragging as petulantly as any self-centered young woman might. But her adventures along Wonderland Creek leave her transformed.
This coming-of-age story put me in mind of The Waltons. Same depression era and small-town life. Austin descriptions are rich and set the tone and setting of the rural south. Even more importantly, she manages to capture the desperation of the Depression while capturing the strength of the people. Lillie, a secondary character drew me in page after page. It's a marvel how Austin wove seemingly separate threads into a beautiful tapestry of words and emotions.

Wonderland Creek is a book of substance and beauty and well worth the read.

Giveaway Opportunity:

If you would like to win your own copy of Wonderland Creek leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. Please remember to put the title in the subject line. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday November 27. This offer is open to international readers.

"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".


  1. I've been wanting to read this one. Since it's set in Kentucky, how can I pass it up?

    mchapman (at) windstream (dot) net

  2. It's delicious, Michelle. If this book had a flavour it would be chocolate. Just as luscious and addictive! LOL. Good luck!

  3. So glad you enjoyed the book, Kav! :D Isn't it great? Definitely fun to see how Alice deals with life beyond books! ;)


  4. Oh, and I'm sure you already know this, but no need to enter me! :)


  5. Oh Amber, I'm soooo glad I read the review on your blog because you sold me on this one and I LOVED it. I was howling through the first chapter with all the librarian quotes. How about this one:

    "Librarians are serious people, seldom given to idle jocularity. The reason for this, I believe, is because we are overwhelmed by the enormous amount of good books waiting to be read, leaving little time for frivolity." (pg. 19) LOL

  6. Sounds like a wonderful book! I just loved your review :) I will read this no matter what :)
    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

  7. Kav,

    Oh, that makes me happy! :D

    And yes, that's a great quote! The sheer volume of good books waiting to be read certainly is a serious thought... LOL


  8. I can't wait to read this one! Looks so good. Please enter me. Thanks! :)

    sunshine6892 at hotmail dot com

  9. Would love to read this book! Please enter me in the giveaway!! :)

    frequentreader19 (at) gmail (dot) com

  10. Thank you for the opportunity to enter the giveaway. :-)

  11. Awesome review as always Kav. I enjoy hearing the opening lines of books. This one is a great hook. I really like the cover, too. The colors are so cool.

  12. It is a great book cover, isn't it Sandra? I love how the background is kind of misty and Alice is right out front and center.

    Good luck everyone. You won't be disappointed if you win!

  13. I love Lynn's books. Please put me in the drawing.

  14. Consider yourself in the draw, Tammie.

  15. This sounds like a really great book, really enjoyed your review and I loved that opening line!! Thanks for the chance to win!!

    kcmelone at yahoo dot com

  16. I read the first couple of chapters online; I did not want to stop! I love Lynn Austin's books. This one is a bit unique because of the humor; Alice may not mean to be funny but she is. I would absolutely love to win a copy of "Wonderland Creek." Thanks for the opportunity.


  17. would love to read this novel, kav....thanks for the opportunity :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  18. I like the era the story is set in and it seems as though this story has a bit of everything: mystery, romance and adventure. Thank you for the review Kav!


  19. Ok, first time that I have ever heard or seen of this book. I'm intrigued! It sounds great with a bit of everything to it. Please enter me.


  20. I loved the Waltons and I love the library storyline (I work at a library also). It would be neat to read this book --thanks for the chance!