We are nearing the end of summer and the month of August. How time flies!!
Here is my pick!
This is Rachel Hauck’s latest novel, The Writing Desk. There are a few reasons why I picked this book including personal ones, but I will get to that in a minute.
Like other fellow authors Karen Kingsbury, Becky Wade and Katie Ganshert, Hauck has other books that will pique your interest: the Royal Wedding series, The Wedding Chapel, The Wedding Dress, The Wedding Shop, the Songbird Novels collection with Sara Evans, a couple novellas including A Brush with Love and A March Bride. There are more to choose from beyond this list; check out her website here!
I chose The Writing Desk this month because the book related to my current struggles as a writer. Feeling like a fraud, the dreaded battle with writer’s block, the fears of failure and success. The novel consists of two stories about female writers. The first is about Tenley Roth, the daughter of best-selling author Conrad Roth and great-great granddaughter of Gordon Phipps Roth who scores her own bestseller and struggles with her next book. The second focuses on Birdie Shehorn, an heiress ahead of her time who yearns to write novels and marry for love during the Guilded Age where money, status and marriage to maintain or increase fortunes were the norms. I did read some reviews through Amazon and Goodreads that found the story predictable and, to an extent, I agree. But at the same time, I found the book relatable because no matter what time period, circumstances or dreams we have for our own stories, we struggle to tell them.
In Tenley’s story, she heads for Florida to take care of her estranged mother, Blanche, who begins chemotherapy for cancer. During her stay, she questions her relationship with fiance Holt, encounters a wonderful man in furniture designer Jonas Sullivan and discovers an old writing desk in her mother’s house that changes her life. For Birdie’s story, she wants to follow her heart by marrying the love of her life, Elijah Percy, aka Lord Montague instead of Alfonse Van Cliff, a man she despises. She also struggles to get her writing published and hides her literary talents from her mother, who does not approve. Both women struggle with the pressures of family legacy and reputation throughout, hitting some difficult lows and life-changing highs.
What I always appreciated about Hauck’s novels were showcasing the toughest points in people’s lives and how the past can influence our present and future down the road. Plus, our dreams are not very different from those who have gone before us. I feel writers should take the time to read this book so they realize they are not alone when they feel the pressure from publishers, writer’s block, from fame or family. We artists have those difficult periods where we feel hopeless, afraid of failing and losing success once we achieve it to some degree. We want to do amazing work with our passions and gifts.
My fellow writers, you have so much to give whether you come from a family of bestselling authors or strike out on your own when the world may seem against you. I hope reading this book will help you remember that, just as it did for me.
Happy reading 🙂