1. The Writing Desk
    The Writing Desk
    Rachel Hauck
    Zondervan / 2017 / Trade Paperback
    $8.99 Retail: $15.99 Save 44% ($7.00)
    4.5 Stars Out Of 5 54 Reviews
4.7 Stars Out Of 5
4.7 out of 5
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Quality:
3.9 out Of 5
(3.9 out of 5)
Value:
3.9 out Of 5
(3.9 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.9 out Of 5
(3.9 out of 5)
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  1. 4 Stars Out Of 5
    not what I was anticipating but still good..
    April 10, 2018
    taralynee
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    *I'm starting with what I didn't care for, so please don't write off this story due to these first couple paragraphs.

    I had very mixed feelings throughout reading this book. Having read several others by Rachel Hauck that I loved, I was surprised to have a hard time with this one. I wanted to love it... and in some ways I did.. but in other ways it felt to me like there was a little something missing.

    Before I go any further, I should say that after much contemplation on this book and how I felt about it, I think my disappointments largely stem from listening rather than reading it myself. While there were some things in the story itself that got to me, for the most part I would have been able to overlook them... I think I might be able to listen to Windy Lanzl read another book (maybe one set in the semi-south... with no British or New York-ish character...) and enjoy it more. One thing that bothered me was her attempt at voices/accents.. because her voices weren't consistent.

    So.. what did I love about Rachel Hauck's The Writing Desk? I loved the creativity found in this story. I loved that this writer knows how to create unique characters with layers and grow them throughout the story, letting the reader get to know them more deeply as the pages turn. I loved the intricacies of the dual timelines and how Rachel Hauck wove them together to create one story.

    The modern part of this book follows Tenley, a best-selling writer struggling to come up with her second book.. she's pretty caught up in the excitement of her fame but in her heart she is seeking more depth, even though she doesn't quite know what she's looking for. Tenley finds herself passing up a trip to Paris with her "sort of fiance" to care for her estranged mother as she goes through chemo. She's not very empathetic toward her mother (disappointing but realistic, considering everything) but the fact that she's there at all says a lot.. especially after Tenley and her dad were abandoned by Blanche (as Tenley calls her) when Tenley was only 9. I enjoyed seeing their relationship grow in hesitant ways as they got to know each other. I also enjoyed how Tenley's friendship with Jonas, a neighbor/longtime friend of Blanche's sprouted as he accepted Tenley where she was. Its super sweet.

    The other half of this dual timeline book begins during the gilded age, and it's about Birdie, a rich heiress who has more heart than care for wealth and fame. She dreams of being a published author, and of marrying for love... hopefully to Eli, who's captured her heart but doesn't have her parents' approval. Her parents have other ideas though and have made business-type arrangements with a different suitor.

    Birdie and Tenley's lives end up intersecting, although they never knew each other. There's much bittersweet in this book. I'm still not quite at rest with the culmination but I think I'd like to try actually reading it in book form. I think that would help me.

    This book is comparable to... a can of soup. I have a certain line of canned soup that I love but can't eat much anymore. There's just something that I can't quite put my finger on that's missing, and I've had a hard time eating it since chemo.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    LOVED!!
    April 4, 2018
    Natalie Walters
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This is my FAVORITE Rachel Hauck story!! Whenever someone asks me about it I say it's the first book in a long time that I haven't rushed through because I truly wanted to savor every moment with the characters!

    Split time brings the story of Kinckerbocker heiress, Birdie Shehorn, who doesn't want to bend to the social norms required of her and bestselling author, Tenley Roth, whose literature legacy is suffocating her creativity.

    On their own, these two stories are filled with memorable characters who charmed their way into my heart. And speaking of heart, Rachel Hauck deserves a standing ovation for giving readers two swoon-worthy heroes in the forms of Elijah Percy and Jonas Sullivan. I love, love, LOVED the genuine romance shared between each couple, whether it was sacrificial and honorable, or witty and kind.

    Ms. Hauck does a fantastic job painting two separate settings that she creatively weaves around a centuries old desk with a "story" to tell. I felt like the story was as unique and refreshing. This is the definitely one of my favorites for 2018 and will be a go-to recommendation for friends looking for their next great read!!
  3. Kansas
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The Writing Desk
    March 2, 2018
    Mauri
    Kansas
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I really like Rachel Hauck's dual timeline books. The historical focus is on Birdie Shehorn, a young woman being pressured into marriage by her wealthy parents in the Gilded Age. Marriage was looked upon as more of a business deal between the parents in order to insure even more wealth. Birdie wanted to marry for love. She also had a passion for writing novels, though she was not taken seriously. Her mother went to almost unbelievable lengths to force Birdie to do as she wanted.

    The contemporary story line featured Tenley Roth, daughter and great-great-granddaughter of successful novelists. After her father's death, Tenley wrote a bestseller as a way to deal with her grief. Now under contract for another book, she is nearing deadline and facing writer's block which brings on fears and insecurities. Her estranged mother, Blanche, asks her to come to Florida to help her while she goes through chemo. Passing up a trip to Paris with her boyfriend, she decides to go to help her mother. Tenley meets the son of one of her mother's friends, Jonas Sullivan. She's never known a large family like the Sullivans, but part of her craves the family connection. Tenley made several discoveries that summer, the most important being that God loves her. It was interesting to see how the two stories tied together.
  4. IL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Excellent and compelling dual timeline story
    January 22, 2018
    BethErin
    IL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: Female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for The Writing Desk, Hardcover.
    Rachel Hauck is a master storyteller and these heartfelt dual-timeline stories are among my favorites! The Writing Desk is a rich and compelling story which embraces the complexities of two separate eras and two women with the same dream, writing stories.

    Tenley is adrift in a sea of uncertainty without the anchoring presence of herfather in her life. Despite her past, Tenley chooses family and the hope of reconciliation over personal comfort and professional costs.

    Birdie has a dream and her heart a home yet her circumstances in the Gilded Age, prevent her from embracing those places that call to her spirit. The forces working against her left me outraged and unwilling to stop reading until the end.

    Each time period leaps off the pages and the characters are completely captivating. The subtle faith and feminine strength throughout this book make it stand out from the crowd. I highly recommend this story!

    I received acomplimentary copy of this book fromthe publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
  5. Canada
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    The kind of novel you want to savor and share
    January 11, 2018
    KavR
    Canada
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I finally understand what everyone has been raving about! I may be a late bloomer but I'm definitely on The Writing Desk's cheer team now! Especially cheering because this is a dual timeline story. Birdie with all the pressures of belonging to the upper class during the Gilded Age and Tenley with the pressures of living up to the expectations that come from belonging to a literary family. There are interesting parallels in these two heroine's stories though a century separates them. Difficult mother/daughter relationships and both chasing dreams as they find the courage to be true to themselves.

    And then there are the men in their lives. Blissful sigh. Elijah in the historical timeline and Jonas in the contemporary one. Men of integrity and faith. Elijah determined to do the honorable thing for his family's estate despite his love for Birdie. Be still my heart. This star-crossed lovers story had me on tenterhooks!

    I'm still having heart palpitations over steadfast, easy-going, steeped-in-faith Jonas. And I'm guilty of feeling like Tenley didn't deserve him in the beginning. But Jonas proved me wrong and humbled me in the process. Because he looks past the baggage and insecurities and sees Tenley as the beautiful daughter of God she is. Their witty dialogue still has me smiling. So much fun in the give and take between these two. But so much heartache too. And so much hope as Tenley finally begins to grasp the concept of grace and the hope it can bring to her future.

    The Writing Desk is the kind of novel you want to savor and share and read over again just because it makes you feel alive and hopeful and inspired to live out your dreams the way Birdie and Tenley do.
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