Monday, July 17, 2017

The Writing Desk - Rachel Hauck

Tenley Roth should be flying high; she's just won a coveted award for her debut novel that has sold very well, and her boyfriend has just proposed.  However, the award was one named after her great-great-grandfather, so she doubts the integrity of having received it, and now she's under deadline for a second book, for which she has zero inspiration.  On top of that, the mother who left Tenley when she was a child has now called imploring her estranged daughter for help through chemotherapy, just as her fiance wants them to fly to Paris.  Should Tenley take the chance to get to know her mother?  Can she find the seeds of a successful second novel in the hidden corners of an old mansion in Florida?  Or will she find something even better?

There are several intertwined stories within this book, alternating between the Guilded Age and Tenley's contemporary  life.  It always feels a little jarring to bounce between such disparate scenes, but I was intrigued and curious to find out how the stories would tie together.  I appreciated Birdie's determination in an era where women were seemingly content to be married off to the men their fathers agreed upon.  I didn't quite get Tenley's fascination with a robe and slippers that belonged to someone she hadn't known, but her struggles to find whether she was more than her family's legacy kept me rooting for her.  While I felt that the book contained too many character and scene shifts to really get invested in the characters lives, the link between the families and generations kept me guessing.

I give this book 3 stars; I think I could have been fully engaged in either Birdie's story, or Tenley's story, but the jumping back and forth just left me feeling disconnected from either of them a bit too much.  Maybe if their generations could have been written close enough that they could have actually met at the end, that might have helped solidify the relationship.  I have, however, enjoyed all of the previous works of Rachel Hauck's that I've read, and I will continue to look forward to any future novels!

You can find The Writing Desk HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.