“Wildwood Creek” is the first book I’ve read by Lisa Wingate, and it has turned me into an enthusiastic new fan of this author. This novel tells two distinct but overlapping stories, one of Bonnie Rose: orphan, captive, and schoolteacher in the mid- 1800’s, and the other of present day film student Allie Kirkland, who lands a job on a historical re-enactment documentary playing the role of Bonnie Rose. What this novel gets right is a great plot full of intrigue and mystery, and excellent characterization and dialogue. You will truly like the characters and enjoy the relationships, the humor, the conflicts and the way the broad cast of characters interact. The writing style flows smoothly back and forth between both the modern and historical storylines and for the most part each one is dynamic, engaging and a well-told story in its own right. What I most enjoyed about this book was envisioning the behind-the-scenes work involved in film production, the concept of re-enacting historical mysteries, and reading about the adjustments that the modern day actors had to make to authentic 19th century living conditions.
My critiques of the book are few:
In fairness, I’d have to say that the historical storyline of Bonnie Rose tends to be a little too mysterious and perhaps a little less than satisfying as it is never exactly clear why the sinister mass-disappearances of townspeople in Wildwood Creek occurs. But that is a minor point. My only other disappointment was that what was supposed to be a suspenseful and mystery-revealing documentary (which the author had done a great job building up) ended up having a seemingly tame and glossed-over conclusion. But perhaps that is balanced out by the story’s major and unexpected twist- you’ll have to decide that for yourself. As for myself, I definitely plan to read a lot more of Lisa Wingate.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.