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The Writing Desk ~ Review

The Writing Desk
By Rachel Hauck

Tenley Roth has somehow written a smashing success of a book while dealing with her grief following her father's death. She seems to be following in the footsteps of her great, great grandfather and her father who were well-beloved authors. But coming up with a second book is bordering on the impossible as the clock clicks down on her deadline. For some reason, Tenley can't find the words to bring anything to life.

And when her long-absent mother calls asking Tenley for help as she deals with an unexpected cancer diagnosis, Tenley reluctantly agrees. Hoping that time away from the normal of her life will spark her creative juices Tenley makes her way to Florida. In her mother's home, she discovers an old desk that she is sure will help her story come to life. But the only thing she finds in a drawer that won't open to her frustration.

Tenley's desk has a history that no one knows - at the turn of the 20th Century Birdie Shehorn uses this same desk for her own literary aspirations and dreams. But Birdie's dreams are just that dreams. She has written a story that spoke of her broken heart but publishing it seems unlikely with the response that she has thus far received. Writing is Birdie's hope for a life that she can control and not have to bow to her mother's social climbing marital schemings and manipulations.

Can a simple desk that has spanned the years provide what two different women need? And the secret it hides could change everything if it is revealed.

This is a story that is set in both the present day and 1902. And though the times are different the basic issues that both Tenley and Birdie face are the same. Both want to create something important with their lives and both in their own way seek love - from their mothers and for their future marriage.

I like this back and forth between time periods. Each change in time or character is noted with the character's name heading the switch. The story is told through Tenley and Jonas's viewpoint in the present day and the past through Birdie and Elijah's viewpoint.

I have to admit I really like Birdie and Elijah's story the best but it is interesting to see how it all works together for a well developed and entertaining story. Tenley's appearance in her "adopted" writing apparel must have been something to see (I'll say no more if you want to know what I'm referring to you need to read the book), especially the bike scene.

About the Book:
From the New York Times bestselling 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 bestseller. 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.

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~ Blooming with Books