Lisa Wingate has a good mystery going in "Wildwood Creek." Although the novel unravels slowly, it seems worth the time as the characters are interesting and there's always an element of "not knowing" that makes the reader want to read on.
But the big reveals happens so quickly and suddenly, and without enough of a buildup, that in the end "Wildwood Creek" is rather unsatisfying. The two romances are so minor, they're almost nonexistent and not enough to give the story substance. Wingate tells the Civil War period-set story in present tense and the modern story in past tense, an odd and off-putting switch of narration modes. Her writing styles is wonderful, but her story feels incomplete.
*Disclaimer: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest review.
Plot Description: 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.