BOOK REVIEW: The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

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 desti

Growing up I think it was always assumed that one day I would be a writer.  Part of me feels like it was understood that it would happen and that somewhere along the way I broke the deal.  Oh, perhaps somewhere around college when adulthood became a reality and time and energy and creativity was drained away into bills and appointments and going to work.  I've actually touched on this topic a time or two on my Laundry Whispers blog.  You know, where I blog about how I'm not writing.  Just roll with it.  This book just brings that back for me just a little bit.  Like maybe if I'd had an outlandish man's bathrobe to write in.  Or perhaps I was just never given the right desk.  Why wasn't I born with famous author genetics?  All of that kinda misses the point.  Just like Tenley missed the point.  And even Gordon Phipps Roth (GPR) missed the point.  The point that Birdie wrapped herself around and completely 'got it'.  At least from where I sit.  Let's walk away from writing for a minute though.  Yes this story is all about writings and books and manuscripts but that's just the fluff.  This book is about so very much more...according to me.

Do not be dismayed, you don't have to worry or be afraid.
Raise your hand if you have ever been so worried or fearful about what step to take next in life or work or even love that you freeze up.  Just wiggle your finger if you are in a space full of people.   I don't care how perfect you think you are or try to appear to be there is at least one area of your life where doubt is a hand at the table.  And remember that doing nothing is still actively making a choice.  Tenley and even GPR both find themselves there.  Decades apart, generations between them but the same problem.  The difference is Tenley, while down and out and without much hope, has an opportunity to not only right her wrong but the wrong of another.  Not for praise or acclaim on her part but because at the end of the day she actually wants to do the right thing.  You know, I have so many thoughtful quotes and take-aways from the book but this is where my mind keeps falling back.  Missteps and redirected paths.  Everything else is just getting me there.

God's mercy cannot be quantified or understood.  Just receive it.
No matter how far you stray from where you think you should be or others think you should be there's always mercy to get to where God needs you to be.  Not where you think or others think but what He knows.  No matter how wrong you make things in a human endeavor there is always the mercy of God to get things to His right.  Not your right or my right but His.   You hand me a book that I laughed and cried and worried and loved so fiercely and this is my take away.  Rachel Hauck did something so profound with this story through these characters that honestly changed just a little in in how I think about things. I was ready to tell so many quirky stories that this book brought me.  And it did, and for that alone you should read it.  But Tenley and Birdy.  They changed the rules, for themselves and a little bit for me.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by Zondervan, the author, and NetGalley.  I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  I was not required to write a positive review. 

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The Writing Desk

About Rachel Hauck
 New York Times, USA Today & Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Rachel Hauck writes from sunny central Florida.

A RITA finalist and winner of Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year, she writes vivid characters dealing with real life issues.

She loves to hear from readers. She also loves to encourage new writers and sits on the Executive Board of American Christian Fiction Writers..

A graduate of Ohio State University with a BA in Journalism, Rachel is an avid OSU football fan. She hopes to one day stand on the sidelines in the Shoe with Urban Meyer.

An avid Diet Coke fan, she is caffeine free. Sometimes you just have to compromise.

She's never skied or jumped out of an airplane. She leaves such hijinks to Jason Bourne.

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