Author: Lisa Wingate
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642—824-9

Wildwood was, like, legendary. Nobody really knows anymore what’s myth and what’s fact, but in the summer of 1861, people from the town just started randomly disappearing – like into thin air,” Allie learns in Lisa Wingate’s novel, Wildwood Creek.

Part of the Moses Lake series, this three hundred and eighty-five page paperback targets mature teenagers to adults who enjoy mystery, romance, and history of the late nineteenth century in America. With only one minor swear word and no overtly sexual scenes, the violence and physical abuse mentioned may not be apropos for naïve readers. At the end of the story, there are fourteen discussion questions, the author’s biography, and two pages promoting other books.

In this tome written in first person one hundred and fifty years apart, two women explain the life that surrounds them, the dreams they ponder, and the hope for their futures as they question God’s grace and control in their lives.

Eighteen year old Bonnie Rose O’Brien has had a tragic upbringing when her family is attacked by the Comanche, leaving her responsible for her nine year old sister, Maggie Mae. Scarred and abused emotionally and physically, the Irish redhead feels a glimmer of hope when Harland Delaven, the wealthy but controlling founder of Wildwood in Texas, pays to have her sister and her come to his town to educate the children. To survive, she has no other choice than to acquiesce to his demands.

Over a century later, Allie Kirkland is finishing up her graduate program and accepts summer employment as a production assistant on a docudrama about the Texan wilderness, the dream job to follow in her father’s film footsteps. Ever since her dad died when she was eight years old, she struggles to find peace and contentment.

When Allie is chosen to work on the reenactment of a frontier settlement near Moses Lake, she dives into the lives and personalities of the many characters, especially of Bonnie Rose. Meeting mysterious cowboy, Blake Fulton, she becomes more captivated in what happened to Bonnie and the town’s residents than in the sets and camera action.

One of those books that keeps you frantically turning pages back and forth from past to present, Wingate’s words sear the reader’s heart as love, hope, and forgiveness are understood and cherished when the main goal is to simply survive.

This book was furnished by The Book Club Network, Inc. in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

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