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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Wedding Dress comes a new captivating novel of secrets, romance, and two women bound together across time by a shared dream.

Tenley Roth's first book was a runaway best seller. 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.

©2017 Rachel Hauck (P)2017 Zondervan

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!!!

She did it again another amazing book that makes you think deeper about your life and relationships with God.

Thank you, please never stop writing!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

should have read instead of listening...

*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 characters…) 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. It’s 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Could not get enough

Great book and this is my second Rachel Hauck and I enjoyed them both. I felt like I was part of the story. I highly recommend this 5 stars

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hovering Between Time Travel and Historical/Contemporary

Love the characters, plot and writing. Rachel Hauck is one of my very favorite authors. The bridge between the historical and present day created by Rachel Hauck is superior to any other book that hovers between time travel and historical. Her realistic time-tie-ins are inspired. Add to that her humor and true-to-life Christian characters makes her books wonderful. This makes up for the narrator who only has one voice . It is a nice voice but makes listening more difficult . Being an author who has had ideas stolen, I bonded with Birdie right away. Loved Coco Beach, the character.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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She did it again!

Rachel Hauck when is your next masterpiece? This is a good for the soul book. Excellent from beginning to end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A wonderful read.

A wonderful book for past and present. The author does a wonderful job folding the past with the present. And I really liked the word of God in this book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Loved the Story!

Good story overall. At some points the story was unoriginal, distracting from the story. But I'm glad I stuck with it. It seems that the narrator sometimes confused the character voices. Would have preferred greater differentiation between the characters. It was sometimes hard to tell who was talking and I needed to rewind from time to time to clarify.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator is just a reader, hard to follow story.

I think this would seem more like an excellent story if not for the narrator, who is just a reader. You have to pay VERY close attention to not only the names of the characters, but what era the story is in and what is going on. Any element of surprise or hurt or betrayal or confusion or basically any emotion is not portrayed by the reader. And there is basically no accent whatsoever except for a word here or there that is ALMOST British sounding. Honestly, they should have hired two narrators, one British, that would have been great!

Story is good, but would have been better if it hadn't sounded so boring, and it would have been much easier to listen to instead of having to concentrate so hard!

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Love this book!!

What an extraordinary journey this book takes you on. You can't wait to see what will happen next. So, much intrigue. I loved it! The kind of story you can get lost in.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really creative story

Love this story so much. It took 2-3 chapters to be okay with the reader/narrator though. Too much of a southern and relaxed accent. Really hard to get past but once I did I enjoyed the story so much. I loved the weaving in with the past and present and the culmination of the story portraying such grace. A clear picture in the end of our human failings and how God weaves it all together. I loved this book and it touched me on so many levels.

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  • Winsome
  • 11-10-17

“Don’t be dismayed, you don’t have to worry or be afraid”

This is one of most thought provoking, sensual, funny, emotional book I have had the pleasure to listen to. With a spiritual thread running through the entire 42 chapters I was moved many times to the point of tears then laughter then gratitude 🙏🏾 .

Oh I love Tinley, Bertie, Eli and Johnas! I feel I know them all through the intricacies of the author who deals with many real life issues - abandonment, sickness, forgiveness, the desire for fame and fortune and of course love both between God and humankind and humankind and God.

We all have a divine purpose, calling on our lives. Some are fortunate to fulfill that purpose others, that purpose is fulfilled through others. Our lives include us but it is not just about us, so don’t be dismayed we need not worry or be afraid😌.

Thank you Rachel for another wonderful book!

Blessings from a true fan,
Winsome R-B

P.S Oh I wish this book could be made into a film premiere 😍!