Heya! I’m so excited to share to you the most recent fiction book I’ve read…and so much loved!
The Writing Desk
by Rachel Hauck
Published July 10th 2017 by Zondervan
Genre: Christian fiction, romance, historical
Available now! Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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My rating: 5 stars
Tenley Roth’s first book was a literary and commercial success. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who merely found a bit of luck?
With pressure mounting from her publisher, Tenley is weighted with writer’s block. But when her estranged mother calls asking Tenley to help her through chemotherapy, she packs up for Florida where she meets handsome furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers the story her heart’s been missing.
Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Yet her life is not her own. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams of her own. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has literally destroyed her dreams, she must choose between submission and security or forging a brand new way all on her own.
Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds. Yet when Tenley discovers Birdie’s manuscript, their lives intersect. Birdie’s words help Tenley find a way home. Tenley brings Birdie’s writing to the world.
Can two women separated by time help fulfill each other’s destiny?
Thank you so much to Thomas Nelson/Zondervan for the advanced reading ecopy in exchange of an honest review!
Although I feel like the two main characters – Tenley in present time and Birdie on year 1902 – are disconnected from each other (how could they be related or where will their stories lead to?) on the first few chapters, I found myself getting more absorbed and excited as the story went on. Even before I reached the 20% of the book, I am already liking the stories as it unfold, the pace, and wherever it may take me.
I love Birdie’s passion in writing. It is her. Despite her rejections and controlling mother, she has this burning spirit to go on and do what she loves, though never disrespecting her parents, especially her mother. She’s a good character; readers can learn a lot from her. Tenley, on the other hand, is obviously flawed. With all the pressure on her next book, the pressure that comes from her last name, and helping her estranged mother, she’s lost. The imperfect character and story of Tenley makes it more realistic, better than the perfect alternative flow and ending.
There’s this part in the 95% of the book when the phrase (I won’t put some spoilers; don’t worry, you’re safe here!) “..she’d give about anything to see one more time” just gave me the same pang of sadness that the story is about to end. I realized then and there that it felt like an eternity, the time spent reading and knowing Birdie and Tenley, like I’ve known them all my life as I’ve witnessed their different seasons (especially Birdie). The story and the characters felt real, like I was just witnessing lives from two generations before my eyes. Ending the book makes me feel like I’m saying goodbye to them.
The exciting part of this book was its many layers, many things it offered. When I thought the story is ready to end, it gave me more! Comes another surprise, a wonderful shocking twist, that added more spice to an already unique story. There are some things in the story that I have foreseen but most of the time, I am pleasantly surprised with the turns. I love love the story within the story thing. You think that the outside has already sold you, but the surprise within makes you think twice. Like, yeah, I love the first, but I love the second as well, then there’s just two of them and you don’t know which is which – I was greatly overwhelmed with goodness. At the end of it, I didn’t hesitate to give it a 5 (Goodreads rating). One book, two stories, several surprises, intertwined to become one great book.
It was refreshing reading this genre, as a new Christian fiction reader. Reading this just easily flowed, I cannot put it down. Like I was meant to read it all along. It fit perfectly in my hands and in my heart. Wonderful things happen such us relating to Tenley’s pressure and frustrations, Birdie’s dreams and caged life, and repeating phrase “Do not be dismayed, you don’t have to worry or be afraid” spoke to my current worry (I have something in my mind while in course of my reading. It really bugged me out and I found this book easy to escape with, not knowing I’d, in turn, receive a comfort and reassurance from those very words. And did I mentioned, repeating? They said when you hear or read a word/s for you repeatedly, it has something to say.) I would recommend this book to new adult to adult (due to some mature scenes) Christian and even non-Christian readers.
As how appealing the cover, title, and the synopsis are, so is the book itself, and much much more. A realistic and enchanting tale about dreams, passion, love, family, disappointments and frustrations and finding reassurance and hope, with lots of unexpected twists and feels that will play out on your emotions – all bound into one book. Just how amazing this book didn’t just gave me entertainment, but has touched my heart as well. Tell me, how do I move on from this?
Have you heard about The Writing Desk? Share your thoughts about it or the latest book you loved!