3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Wonderland Creek (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.
Lillie, a former One hundred year old former slave becomes one of Alice's dearest friends and she learns a lot from this woman, who is nearly eighty years older than her. At one point she tells Alice, "...sometimes when people work for God, they get the idea that He should make their life all smooth and easy because they're doing His work."
Alice retorts that He should.
Lillie says, "It ain't so. Jesus said life is gonna be hard. Period. He said if you're gonna follow Him, then you're gonna carry a cross just like He did. This world of ours is under a curse, honey. We need to expect things to be bad. But even if we lose everything, we still have Jesus."
This is just one of many tidbits of wisdom passed on to Alice by the wizened old woman, who has seen much in her life.
Wonderland Creek is just that, a book filled with the wonder of learning to really live.
I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for this review.