In the past I have mentioned that Lynn Austin is an excellent and widely-read author of superb Christian fiction. However, I have not mentioned that she has many little-known books that would make excellent Christian films. While not much can beat her landmark novel, A Proper Pursuit, she has many selections that come close. One of these is the book Wonderland Creek, Austin takes on a different setting with this book that you will not find in her others. This book has always been one of my favorites, partly because of it’s eccentric charm, and partly because of it’s well-developed characters. Wonderland Creek deals with subjects such as backward mountain communities, librarians, truth, lies, life lessons, romance, action, mystery, and everyday adventure. The opening chapter introduces the reader to a young woman named Alice Grace Ripley. Alice has loved books for as long as she can remember, and while reading fiction is hardly a crime, Alice has begun to unknowingly believe that her beloved stories are the guidelines for real life decisions. Alice has it all, the storybook boyfriend, a loving family, and a comfortable job as (what else?) a city librarian. However, that is all about to change. Alice’s boyfriend becomes increasingly frustrated with her obsession with fiction and accuses her of living in a fictional world. They argue, and eventually decide to part ways. Confused and hurt, Alice turns to her books for comfort, only to discover that they make her more unhappy. She makes a last-minute decision to take a trip to the mountains of Kentucky to deliver donated books to a small community there. While there Alice will discover that the real world is a far cry from what one can find in a storybook, and that life, love, and commitment are concepts that she has never fully understood. Will Alice ever find her Prince Charming? Will she gain a correct perspective on the world of non-fiction? Most importantly, will she discover the Creator of every good and perfect thing? To answer these questions, read the book!:-) Wonderland Creek would make an excellent romantic comedy in the hands of a good writer/director. It would require an excellent casting job, strict adherence to the original plot, and superb production quality. Once again I will say that there are many Christian novels, like Wonderland Creek, that can and should be on the big screen. I can’t wait for the day when filmmakers realize the potential found in Christian novels such as these.
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