Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate

Allie Kirkland has never been one to take wild risks. But when she's offered a costuming assistant's job on a docudrama in the hills near Moses Lake, she jumps at the chance. She's always dreamed of following in her director-father's footsteps, and the reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step. The family expectations will have to wait.

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delevan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the folk songs of Chinquapin Peaks. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.

This is the first in a series of books that I’m going to be reviewing to try to stretch my reading habits from mainly suspense, intrigue novels to some contemporary novels.  I’ve read several in the past that, while maybe not a typical “guy’s book”, are books that should be read by guys none the less.

Allie is finally being offered a job that will allow her to do what she’s always wanted and follow her father into the film making business.  When she agrees to do the job, she heads out to the hills near Moses Lake.  The movie is a reenactment, docudrama, of the town of Wildwood and the mysteries surrounding the disappearance of some of the residents of this town.  As the film unfolds, Allie begins to dig into the actual people from the town to see how much of the “film” is true and how much is fiction.  With the actors and crew living the part during filming, things for Allie take a dangerous turn.  What happened to those that disappeared from the town? Does Allie ever find any answers to her questions? Is what is happening now related to what happened back then?  Head down to your local box office if you want to watch the movie, but if you want to find the answers to these questions you will need to BUY THE BOOK!!

So maybe this book wasn’t as big of a stretch to my reading habits as I had thought.  This books would definitely be labeled as a “mystery” book to me as there are clues, red herrings and shady characters just like in any good mystery book.  I will admit, though, the I am not a fan of this writing style.  For this book, the author has basically chosen to tell you two stories at once.  The story of Allie who is helping to make the film and then the story of Bonnie Rose, the young lady from the real town.  The author uses alternating chapters to give you their coinciding stories.  I tend to get confused at times when I have to switch my brain back and forth, especially between two different time periods.  I didn’t see a lot of character development as the story progressed and I’m thinking it’s because there was so much of the back story that had to be told. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t like the characters, I just felt like I could have got to know them more.

Is this a "guy's book"?  There are some elements of this book that would appeal to men.  There is a lot of historical information shared when the book is through the eyes of Bonnie Rose, it almost makes you feel like you’ve switched to the History Channel on a lazy Sunday afternoon.  And what man wouldn’t look forward to that.

About The Author

Selected among BOOKLIST'S Top 10 of 2012 and Top 10 of 2013, Lisa Wingate skillfully weaves lyrical writing and unforgettable Southern settings with elements of women's fiction, history, and mystery to create stories that Publisher's Weekly calls "Masterful" and ForeWord Magazine refers to as "Filled with lyrical prose, hope, and healing.” Lisa is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and the author of over over twenty novels and countless magazine pieces. 

Her books have held positions on many bestseller lists, both in the U.S. and internationally. She is a seven-time ACFW Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, a Christianity Today Book Award nominee, an Inspy Award nominee, a two-time Carol Award winner, a LORIES Best Fiction Award winner, and a Utah Library Award winner. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.  Visit Lisa at her website:

I received this book from the Book Fun Network in exchange for my honest opinion.  


  1. It took me a little while to get to use to the switch between characters ever chapter, but I LOVED Bonnie Rose's part of the story! I was surprised by how much mystery there actually was in this one! Lisa weaves mystery/suspense into other novels, but this one made the story! Great review