Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate
Bethany House Publishers, 4th February 2014

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.

The concept of this book was awesome! Different and gripping. In Wildwood Creek, Lisa Wingate takes readers from the past to the present and does it in a really good way. Using a modern day reality show, where the actors work and live in the set designed town of Wildwood Creek and then taking the reader back to said place is great! I was riveted by the story of Bonnie Rose in the past and when moved into the present time, I was equally intrigued as to how Allie’s story would pan out and how Bonni Rose’s legacy still impacted the happenings of the novel.

Allie and Blake’s relationship was so mysterious for much of the book. Mainly because Blake is a bit of a mystery himself and when you put everyone in their “roles” for the show, discovering who a person “is” gets a little harder. Essentially, this is also what Allie was trying to do for Bonnie Rose. Who was she? Why are there haunting songs featuring Bonnie Rose? These questions and the ones about Blake get answered and the mystery surrounding the town and the one surrounding the set of the reality show are not what the reader expects, but are well done.

Overall this was a really enjoyable book and so different, but done so well that this makes it a treasure!

Oh and the cover is just gorgeous!

 Thank you to NetGalley for a copy of this novel for review.  I was in no way obliged to give a positive review.