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Wonderland Creek Paperback – October 1, 2011

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076420498X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764204982
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #158,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

I lifted my chin to look up at him, since he was at least a foot taller than I was. "I wrote to you and mentioned that I planned to stay and volunteer--"

"And I wrote to you and told you not to come."

"I never received your letter."

"But you came anyway? Without an invitation?"

"I thought you were...I mean, your name is Leslie...and most librarians are women." And much friendlier and better groomed, I wanted to add as he strode past me, heading toward the house.

"I'm not a woman," he hollered over his shoulder. "That's why I told you to stay home and just ship the books to me."

I took a deep breath and exhaled. "If you will kindly direct me to the nearest hotel, I'll gladly get out of your...hair." He halted on the front porch and turned to face me.

"A hotel?--Ha! Where do you think you are, lady? Back in Chicago?" He shook his head and went inside, leaving the library door wide open.

It seemed that I had baked myself into a jam tart, as Mother would say. What in the world was I going to do? If I had been reading about this disastrous misunderstanding in a book, I would have flipped to the last chapter to see how everything turned out. But it wasn't a story, it was my life--and I had no idea what to do.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

I was perfectly content with my life--that is, until the pages of my story were ripped out before I had a chance to live happily ever after.

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 breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real one. To top it off, Alice loses her beloved library job 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 tiny coal-mining town 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.

More About the Author

For many years, Lynn Austin nurtured a desire to write but frequent travels and the demands of her growing family postponed her career. When her husband's work took Lynn to Bogota, Colombia, for two years, she used the B.A. she'd earned at Southern Connecticut State University to become a teacher. After returning to the U.S., the Austins moved to Anderson, Indiana, Thunder Bay, Ontario, and later to Winnipeg, Manitoba.

It was during the long Canadian winters at home with her children that Lynn made progress on her dream to write, carving out a few hours of writing time each day while her children napped. Lynn credits her early experience of learning to write amid the chaos of family life for her ability to be a productive writer while making sure her family remains her top priority.

Extended family is also very important to Austin, and it was a lively discussion between Lynn, her mother, grandmother, and daughter concerning the change in women's roles through the generations that sparked the inspiration for her novel Eve's Daughters.

Along with reading, two of Lynn's lifelong passions are history and archaeology. While researching her Biblical fiction series, Chronicles of the Kings, these two interests led her to pursue graduate studies in Biblical Backgrounds and Archaeology through Southwestern Theological Seminary. She and her son traveled to Israel during the summer of 1989 to take part in an archaeological dig at the ancient city of Timnah. This experience contributed to the inspiration for her novel Wings of Refuge.

Lynn resigned from teaching to write full-time in 1992. Since then she has published twelve novels. Eight of her historical novels have won Christy Awards for excellence in Christian Fiction: Hidden Places (2001), Candle in the Darkness (2002), Fire by Night (2003), A Proper Pursuit (2007), Until We Reach Home (2008), Though Waters Roar (2009) While We're Far Apart (2010), and Wonderland Creek (2011). Fire by Night was also one of only five inspirational fiction books chosen by Library Journal for their top picks of 2003, and All She Ever Wanted was chosen as one of the five inspirational top picks of 2005. Lynn's novel Hidden Places has been made into a movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring actress Shirley Jones. Ms Jones received a 2006 Emmy Award nomination for her portrayal of Aunt Batty in the film.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The story had some interesting characters with depth.
Marian Baay
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book filled with heartwarming characters, mystery, and adventure who doesn't enjoy a love story interwoven!.
Marsha Kay
There were parts that made me laugh out loud at the characters and the predicaments they found themselves in.
Dawn Force

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer VINE VOICE on September 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
"Wonderland Creek" is one of those stories that I nearly laughed outright at the first chapter and found myself more than just a bit relating to the heroine of the novel, Alice Grace.

Alice has her nose stuck in a book and not a single thought planted in reality. She is one of those characters who has so far to grow and to grow up (ha!), but has a voice upon the page that drew me as a reader. And in many ways it was almost uncomfortable the similarities I found in her character and mine. (though I hope I don't view all of life through a novel. ;-)

The novel is more romance than what I have read of Lynn Austin before and doesn't have the deep plots she is known for, but the novel is still enjoyable. There is a complexity to the characters, especially the mountain people with their feuds and struggles.

The "murder" of Mack took several twists, but I'm not quite sure if I'm completely satisfied with the ending of it. I could have missed something along the way, which is tainting my view, but I thought it was closed up a bit too easily.

The close of the novel was completely sweet and wonderful. The journey Alice and Mack make through the story with the other characters give the novel such a mix of personality and made the book an enjoyable read.

This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers through CFBA for my copy to review.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By christianfictionaddiction on October 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
Wonderland Creek was, quite simply, an absolute delight to read, and I enjoyed every moment that I was immersed in it's pages! Alice Grace Ripley is one of the most wonderful characters I've encountered in some time, primarily because she is a character who simply loves reading, and her quirks and tendencies are so very realistic that they kept me (and my wife) in stitches when we read certain scenes! I felt affinity with her right from the first chapter, where she covertly read a few pages of her book during a funeral because she had to find out what happened next, or when her boyfriend complained about her walking while reading and so walking into a lamp post! Oh, how many times in my past I've done similar things, even trying to drive once while skimming a page (horrendously dangerous I know and not a move I've repeated since).

Alice's adventures in the mountains of Kentucky as a pack horse librarian, taking care of the former slave, Lillie, and helping Mack uncover a mystery were absolutely entertaining to read about, filled with deep, tender moments interspersed with laugh-out-loud scenes. Alice's transformation throughout the story from a person with no gumption to a person confident in who God has made her to be is beautiful to behold. Most of all, I loved the faith that is revealed in the pages of this story, especially the truths uttered by Lillie, her ear attuned to God's Spirit, her prayers filled with faith and fervor. The romance that unfolds is sweet and natural and sure to leave you with a smile on your face.

Lynn Austin is a masterful story teller, and fans of her previous works will completely savor her newest release. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

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.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Taylor Christine on November 26, 2011
Format: Paperback
Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin is a fictional novel that tells the story of Alice Grace Ripley, a librarian who constantly has her nose stuck in a book. Set in the Great Depression era, this novel begins when Alice is laid off from her librarian job due to budget cuts. At the same time, her boyfriend breaks up with her after she rudely begins reading during a funeral. Needing to get away, Alice heads toward Kentucky to drop off a collection of donated books to the poor townspeople there. After some twists and turns, including gunshots and a murder, she winds up tangled in the problems and drama of the town.

I chose to review this book because I truly enjoyed reading Lynn Austin's A Woman's Place, a novel about the intersecting lives of four women during WWII. I did not enjoy Wonderland Creek as much as A Woman's Place. I found many aspects of Alice's character to be flat and cliched. Her total lack of care regarding anything except books seemed an exaggeration and unrealistic. I also thought the author could have written the book in half the amount of pages she utilized. It wasn't until I was 100 pages into the book that the plot actually started moving. Once the plot picked up, I found it somewhat more intriguing. I found the description of the way of life in a rural Kentucky town to be the most interesting part of the book.

Genre: Fiction

Overall Rating: 2.5/5

Character development: 3

Plot: 3

Fluidity: 2

Originality: 2

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Kliewer on November 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you never read another fiction book, Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin is a piece of fiction that should not be missed. This is by far one of the best books I have read in a long time, and I read a lot of books. If it was possible I would give this book ten stars.

Alice Ripley lives in Illinois with her parents. She works in a library and has a boyfriend who suddenly breaks up with her. She then loses her job at a library because of cutbacks during the Great Depression. Her world falls apart.

Alice always has her nose in a book and this has become her reality, until she decides to travel to Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the small mining town of Acorn. When she arrives she is taken back in time. There is no running water, no electricity and books are delivered to those who live in the hills by women on horse.

At the beginning of the book, Alice doesn't really know who she is. On the day she leaves for Kentucky her father admonishes her to remember who she is. The answer her father had drummed into her was that she was a child of God and therefore needed to act like one. But when he tells her this on leaving all she can think of is that she used to be able to say that she was Gordon's girlfriend and a librarian at the Blue Island Public Library. Now she can say neither of those things, and wonders who she really is.

Alice at first sees everything through the eyes of the books she's read, but as time goes on she learns to really live, to get to know people, and to care for them in a deeper way, not just talking about what she's read in a book, but wanting to truly know about the lives of the people with whom she comes in contact.
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