The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

My Review

The Writing Desk, by Rachel Hauck, opens by introducing us to Tenley Roth, a modern-day author. Tenley’s first novel was a blockbuster hit. However, now she is struggling to meet a deadline for her second novel.

We are then introduced to Elizabeth “Birdie” Shehorn, a young lady of the early 1900s who desperately wants to be an author.

Ms. Hauck has deftly interwoven two different eras into one compelling story.  As we travel back in time, our eyes are opened to the difficulties women, and in this case a young woman, had in being able to choose their avocation and suitor. Birdie’s mother was ruthless in her desire for Birdie to make a suitable marriage and would stop at almost nothing to achieve her goals for Birdie. Juxtaposed against Birdie’s life was Tenley’s. A modern day young woman. Tenley was able to make her own choices for her life. However, her fears held her hostage.

The secondary characters are well written and suitably fleshed out, causing you to either love or hate them as you get to know them for whom they are. Some of the situations of the key individuals are heart-wrenching. However, Ms. Hauck, without it seeming gratuitous, offers hope and encouragement through their faith, be it new or long-standing.

There are some adult situations, but they are not salacious. Nonetheless, I would caution parents to read the book first before allowing their teens to read it.

I received this book from NetGalley (I also received a copy yesterday, 8-8-17) from The Fiction Guild.  However, I was under no obligation to post a review.

Publisher’s Summary

Tenley Roth’s first book was a runaway bestseller. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who has run out of inspiration?

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.

A century earlier, another woman wrote at the same desk with hopes and fears of her own. Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams she doesn’t know how to realize. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has taken extreme measures to manipulate her future, 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, but fate has bound them together in a way time cannot erase.

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