Wildwood Creek, by Lisa Wingate

book coverPublisher’s Summary:

With love and loss tangled together, how was she to know where her life would lead?

Allie Kirkland has always heard the call of her father’s unfinished destiny. When she’s offered a production assistant’s job on a docudrama filming in the hills near Moses Lake, Texas, the dream of following in her director-father’s footsteps suddenly seems within reach. The reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step into the film industry. A summer on set in the wilderness is a small price to pay for a dream. 

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

When filming begins, strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, and everyone in Wildwood–including Blake Fulton, Allie’s handsome neighbor on the film set–seems to be hiding secrets. Allie doesn’t know whom she can trust. If she can’t find the answers in time, history may repeat itself…with the most unthinkable results.

My Take:

The latest installment in the Moses Lake series takes the reader back in time to solve the mystery of a ghost town in the lake’s vicinity. An enigmatic producer, Rav Singh, has decided to shoot a reality show at the location, with the 21st century cast forced to live as though it was 1861. They will be totally cut off from the outside world for three months. Allie, initially brought on board as a production assistant, is cast as teacher Bonnie Rose by the producer. While she’s grateful to get away from her overbearing boss, Allie has a feeling Singh knows more than he’s letting on.

In Wildwood Creek, the present day drama is interspersed with Bonnie Rose’s story about the events of 1861. Bonnie and her younger sister have already experienced hardship prior to their arrival in Wildwood. Wildwood should have been a new beginning for both of them. Instead, they found themselves in the middle of a new nightmare. Bonnie narrates the events of 1861, although it is the slave Essie Jane who will have the final say.

Both tracks are written in the first person, but I felt that the modern day storyline seemed to lack something. The dots are never completely joined up. I didn’t feel the suspense and the climax came out of left field. In sharp contrast, the 1861 story was fascinating. Everything was seen through Bonnie’s eyes so the reader only knew what she knew, but it worked. Here was a woman who’d already gone through so much and was now facing an unknown evil. I would’ve loved to read an entire novel about this scenario.

Thank you to Bethany House for my complimentary copy of Wildwood Creek, which I received in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read Wildwood Creek? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.

Read an excerpt from Wildwood Creek

Publisher: Bethany House (a division of Baker Publishing)

Publication Date: 04 February 2014

Page Count: 384

Read more on:   Lisa Wingate’s Website   Bethany House’s Website

Purchase on:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Christianbook.com


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