Wildwood Creek is the story of Allison Kirkland, and her friend Kim. Allie's temperament is reserved and thoughtful while Kim is delightfully bold and confident, and it was predictably Kim who got them involved in the project of a lifetime. And thereby hangs the tale.
Although Allie has filmmaking in her blood, and loves every bit of the work involved, it was all Kim's idea to get involved with the docudrama being filmed in the Texas bluffs. The whole summer stretched ahead of them, and it was a fine time for two college girls to have an adventure. What could be more challenging/enchanting than living and working in an authentic pioneer town for several weeks?
Much to Allie's surprise, both girls are accepted and given a position within the cast and crew. The whole film is surrounded by secrecy and almost everything about it is privileged information, yet Kim slowly ferrets out the details that she can. What neither of them know yet is that they are about to step into the world of Wildwood.
Allie can't help but question why a director famous for his horror movies would suddenly be interested in history and hoopskirts, and something feels odd about it. This isn't just a "how the Pioneers lived" film. This has creepy overtones, because it is based on the legend of a town whose citizens went missing.
It isn't long before Allie's love of historical detail and the magic of film combines with her curiosity about the town they've recreated. The film set is as accurate as possible down to the last detail, and that makes life plenty interesting. Allie sneaks modern toothpaste into her historical setting, she learns how to eat fish fresh off the campfire, and and she wonders whether this is an important step in her life or if it's all just an odd dream-like occurrence.
In the midst of all these mind-expanding experiences, strange parallels to the original Wildwood keep cropping up. In between the chapters that Allie narrates, we readers hear the real Bonnie Rose's story. Bonnie's story is one of innocents caught up in terrifying circumstances that left her enshrined in the folklore and misty legends.
This novel, about two college girls on a summer adventure playing 1860's ladies, has an eerie edge that mirrors Bonnie's story.
Wildwood Creek is a novel of suspense, sinister at times, with questions about our place in time and in our own families woven in. If this has you intrigued, I'd say go pick it up! And while you're at it, pick up another great book from this author, Firefly Island, as well. :)
Thank you Bethany House for my review copy!