Six-time Christy Award winner Lynn Austin has won a loyal following for her inspiring historical fiction. In Wonderland Creek, young Chicago-area librarian Alice Grace Ripley is left heartbroken when her fiancé breaks up with her just as the Great Depression forces her out of a job. To escape the local gossip, Alice volunteers to deliver donated books to a library in rural Kentucky. There she discovers that God still has a plan for her after all.
©2011 Lynn Austin (P)2012 Recorded Books, LLC
I don't review every book--only books I feel strongly about--hence the many 4-5 star vs 1-2 star reviews. Just my opinions--hope they help.
This is a different sort of Lynn Austin book than the others I have read. It clearly fits into the "inspirational" category with many references to prayer, God, and faith. It is a very long story (over 15 hours) that plods forward as a shallow, over protected outsider makes a new life for herself during a visit to poverty stricken rural Kentucky. The story is not a neat and tidy one. There are many loose ends and miraculous twists and turns. I enjoyed the book very much over all. I thought Kate Forbes did a great job narrating the different voices. At times I thought the book rambled on a bit too long-- but at the same time I kept on listening with great interest. It was a positive story and worth a listen.
Lynn Austin did it again. I love reading her books because she does such a great job of researching her material. Her stories inspire me to review different parts of my faith and to grow. I also feel like I have received a valuable history lesson when I read one. I probably would never have heard of the depression-era traveling library services in Kentucky if I hadn't read this book. Kate Forbes did an excellent job of making the characters come to life.
I was deterred by the beginning of this book, wondering if it was for a younger crowd and if it would be relatable to me. However, I hung in there. I'm very glad I did. I feel as though I have been on a journey myself, after watching the events unfold for Alice. The characters were very endearing and I fell in love with them, even though I had the same reluctance Alice did at first. The ending left me crying - sad, satisfied tears; as well as smiling, completely fulfilled by a book well written, characters so well developed I feel as though I know them personally, and a plot fully traversed by pen and heart. I will be reading more by this author and listening to more by this narrator. Both were exceptional!
Lynn Austin is one of my favorite authors! Wonderland Creek is suspenseful and riveting! If I didn't have to work I would have read this book straight through! I love how Miss Austin weaves God into the characters lives. I love how this book, and all her works, teach of listening to people, being with people, being present to God and his miracles! Good book with good values!
Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
Wonderland Creek is an amazingly truthful look at Christianity and humanity. I enjoyed it from the beginning, identifying with Alice Grace Ripley's love of books and libraries. I remember carrying home 8 to 10 books a week from our school library when I was in middle school and escaping into them, one at a time. I also understood the order and peace of working in a library, since I volunteered in the school library, getting first pick over all the new and returned books. I had to laugh at Alice's unrealistic view of life and love when her first romance turned south, and her boyfriend "dumps" her for reading a book at a funeral. An over protected youngest child of a minister and his very straight laced wife, Alice found safety in reading, and was very much the center of her own universe. Sweet and innocent and unbeknownst to her, of course. Life cannot be learned from a book. Her journey to the rural Kentucky to deliver donated books to their tiny library is the BEGINNING of life for Alice, of finding out who God really is, and of seeing His hand at work. In a place where there's no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no telephones, no niceties, only reality . . . and the quiet of the creek, the birds, and having no choice but to help others, Alice is renewed . . . and she hears from God.
My husband and I listened to this book together. We LOVED it! It was a great story and narrated very well.
We need more CLEAN and entertaining books like this!
An intriguing, heart warming, page turner
I believe the most memorable moments occur between Ally and Lilly. Lilly's insights and verbage are often touching and inspirational as well as practical and even humorous. I found myself wondering what she was going to say next. Her back story, once revealed, was filled with faith and hope and to me quite compelling.
(My mother's opinion.)
In my opinion the most memorable moments were when Ally found herself thrust into a different world. From finding herself having to be more domesticated than she was accustomed to, to dealing with the outdoor life out of a Kentucky backwoods woman, she tackled it with defiance, determination and courage. She was a character not soon to be forgotten.
I like the way Kate Forbes used different voice inflection for different characters.
The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the mountain.
I would recommend this book, to anyone. I love the writing of Lynn Austin. She has just the right combination of humor and drama.
(My Mother's opinion)
READ THIS BOOK!! You will be glad you did.
This is the best book I have read (listen to) for a long time. It really touches the heart.
If you like a good story, you will like this book. If you like inspirational stories, you will like this book. And, if you like a story with believable characters, you will like this book.
Lynn Austin has always been a 5-star read/listen for me. If this had been my first experience with her work, and had it not been for an Amazon reviewer who encouraged readers to stick with this slow-starter, I would have given up listening.
As the story begins, the primary character , as one other reviewer put it, comes across "cliched." While some readers found the story amusing, I found it irritating. It wasn't until several hours in that I became at all engaged.
I remain a loyal reader/listener of Lynn Austin, but this one was just OK for me. I suspect it was intended to be humorous in some respects, but the humor was not to my taste.
If this is your first Lynn Austin, try some of her other titles. She truly is a master of her craft, whether or not this one hit the spot for you.
Lynn Austin has done it again. She has to be one of the greatest Christian author of our time. She makes her stories seem true and this book is no exception. I truly did not want this book to end. I hope there will be a sequel to Wonderland Creek. The characters are amazing!
Can you tell? I loved this book!
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