The Writing Desk

The Writing Desk

by Rachel Hauck


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This happily ever after romance tells the captivating story of two women bound together across time by a shared dream and a mysterious writing desk.

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.

“Rachel Hauck enchants us again! Tenley and Birdie are bound together by the understanding that creativity is a guiding force and that their stories must be told. A tale both bittersweet and redemptive, The Writing Desk is your must-read.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author

This sweet, split-time read is a standalone novel, though characters in this story appear in Rachel Hauck’s book, The Fifth Avenue Story Society. Includes discussion questions.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310341598
Publisher: Zondervan
Publication date: 07/11/2017
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 193,489
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at Rachel; Facebook: Rachel Hauck; Twitter: @Rachel Hauck; Instagram: @rachelhauck.

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The Writing Desk 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book. I love this author and have read all her stories. So good and so clean in nature with a good heart.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From start to finish, a beautiful piece
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful book by Rachel Hauck
Purple_Roses 3 months ago
Just finished reading "The Writing Desk" by Rachel Hauck. It was definitely a read!!!
nhr3bookcrazyNR More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book! I enjoyed the back and forth between the stories of Birdie and Tenley. And the male interests of each girl, Eli and Jonas, are quite admirable love interests. It got very involved following the intertwinings of the stories. A really lovely book.
runnergirl83 More than 1 year ago
Tenley has just had every writer's dream, her first book has become a success, spending 22 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. However, now that her second book is due soon she has writer's block. Her first book was such a success, how does she repeat that? Tenley's mother asks for help as she goes through chemotherapy, so Tenley goes across the country. She has rarely seen her mother in the past 20 years, so seeing them reunited was interesting. They discussed her mother's failed marriages after she left Tenley's father and the mistakes of the past. Tenley's mother genuinely did love her father. This novel is split chapters between present day Tenley, and 1903 Birdie. Birdie is presured to get married, but what she would really like to do is marry for love and to write. I found the present-day story of Tenley a little more interesting than Birdie's. It was interesting to see how their two stories would finally connect. It was a decent story.
NatalieRae More than 1 year ago
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!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept me up till all hours of the morning, and now I’m sleep deprived! What was I thinking, starting a Hauck before bed? Love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good easy read. Good characters and had a twist at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most heartwarming stories I've read!!! Love it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book.
BethErin More than 1 year ago
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 her father 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 a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and was under no obligation to post a review. The opinions expressed are my own.
bburke79 More than 1 year ago
I have to be honest and say that I really enjoy Rachel Hauck's writing. However, so far this is my FAVORITE book by her. The story touched my heart...and I appreciated Birdie's fight or independence. If you enjoy historical romances and can follow the "dual-time" with flashbacks this is an amazing story...and it would make a wonderful movie in my opinion!
BookLover16 More than 1 year ago
A historical fiction and contemporary romance combined couldn't get any better! Reading a book by Rachel Hauck is almost like reading two. I love reading a story from the past and then seeing the impact on the life of someone in the present. I felt such a connection to our two heroines, early twentieth century Birdie and modern day Tenley. While our dreams may be different, our fears are very much the same. This book was an encouragement and inspiration in making your own path in life; not just following someone else's because it's already been traveled. Everything about this book deserves a five star rating!
AngelaBycroftNZ More than 1 year ago
t takes a skilled author to introduce what appears to be two completely separate story lines and distinct time periods and give both the correct emphasis and both stories compelling enough to take an audiences interest. Rachel Hauck does just that with the magnificent Writing Desk. WIth deft hand she introduces us to Tenley Roth- a harried ‘one hit wonder’ author who is now expected to produce her second book with as much success and hype as benefits the recipient of all the awards she has had lavished upon her. Problem - she’s faced with a severe and complete writer’s block. She faces the most frightening thing for any writer - a white sheet of paper. Seeking an escape and also on the begging request of her estranged mother - she moves to Florida and a hopeful change to produce something worthy of her publisher. There she discovers not only a painful past but also an old writing desk which seems to call to her of past stories and a shared history. Little does she realise that a century earlier - another young lady sat at the same desk faced with surprisingly similar trials and tribulations. Birdie Shehorn was born to privilege and money - but with that comes strict controls and invisible chains. She wants to break the conventions put upon her and tell stories, write novels and make an impact on her world. The unique way this story is told is simply beautiful and so so engaging as a reader. I️ literally devoured it in two sitting over two days. With rich detail and stunning story telling this is one not to miss. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
THersh27 More than 1 year ago
After Tenley Roth writes a bestseller, she is challenged to write her next book. However, she is overcome with writer's block. When her estranged mother asks her to come to Cocoa Beach to help her through her chemotherapy treatments, she thinks this may be what she needs to get her inspiration back. When Tenley arrives at her mother's house she falls in love with an antique desk and gains inspiration from the desk. Little did Tenley know that years before Birdie Shehorn had sat at the same desk wanting two things, to be a published author and to marry for love. Will Tenley shake her writer's block and find her inspiration? Will Birdie be able to go against her mother's wishes and marry for love and finally get her name on a book?  This story was very intriguing. I fell in love with both Tenley and Birdie. It kept me wondering how each of their stories would end. I could not put the book down, and when I had to my !Ind kept wondering what was going to happen next. This is another amazing story by Rachel Hauck, and I highly recommend it. I love the way she writes two separate stories of women from two completely different ages and weaves them back together.   **I received this book for free from the publisher for review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Two storylines one the present and one in the past, but both take place in the same home I loved the obvious similarities between the two storylines. There are writers in each storyline and one is having a hard time getting the second book written while the other is having a hard time getting her first published. As most readers can agree on, we love a book about books!
Jennybug52 More than 1 year ago
4 stars-Rachel Hauck once again delivers a heartwarming tale in her latest story. I enjoyed the split time story line and discovering how they intertwine. I recently read the book “To Marry an English Lord” which was all about the Gilded Age of America and America’s obsession with everything British. Having all of that fresh in my mind, it was fun to read this book about a similar time period and recognize many of the historical figures mentioned. It’s hard to imagine such wealth and extravagance and marriages that were nothing more than business transactions and ways to make the rich richer. I enjoyed all 4 of the main characters- Birdie, Eli, Tenley and Jonas. They were unique yet similar in their passions and pursuits, even though more than a century had passed between them. I felt the emotions of the characters and loved watching how the story unfolded. Rachel Hauck did an amazing job of bringing all of their stories together in a satisfying, if not bittersweet, conclusion. This was a story about finding your true calling and being the person God made you to be, even when it’s not easy. It was also a story about relationships, both broken and whole, and how God can work through us in different ways to mold those relationships. Rachel Hauck always delivers a great story and I look forward to her next offering. I received a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
MichelleShoutsRandom More than 1 year ago
Although I feel like the two main characters - Tenley in present time and Birdie on year 1902 - are disconnected from each other (how could they be related or where will their stories lead to?) on the first few chapters, I found myself getting more absorbed and excited as the story went on. Even before I reached the 20% of the book, I am already liking the stories as it unfold, the pace, and wherever it may take me. I love Birdie's passion in writing. It is her. Despite her rejections and controlling mother, she has this burning spirit to go on and do what she loves, though never disrespecting her parents, especially her mother. She's a good character; readers can learn a lot from her. Tenley, on the other hand, is obviously flawed. With all the pressure on her next book, the pressure that comes from her last name, and helping her estranged mother, she's lost. The imperfect character and story of Tenley makes it more realistic, better than the perfect alternative flow and ending. There's this part in the 95% of the book when the phrase (I won't put some spoilers; don't worry, you're safe here!) "..she'd give about anything to see one more time" just gave me the same pang of sadness that the story is about to end. I realized then and there that it felt like an eternity, the time spent reading and knowing Birdie and Tenley, like I've known them all my life as I've witnessed their different seasons (especially Birdie). The story and the characters felt real, like I was just witnessing lives from two generations before my eyes. Ending the book makes me feel like I'm saying goodbye to them. The exciting part of this book was its many layers, many things it offered. When I thought the story is ready to end, it gave me more! Comes another surprise, a wonderful shocking twist, that added more spice to an already unique story. There are some things in the story that I have foreseen but most of the time, I am pleasantly surprised with the turns. I love love the story within the story thing. You think that the outside has already sold you, but the surprise within makes you think twice. Like, yeah, I love the first, but I love the second as well, then there's just two of them and you don't know which is which - I was greatly overwhelmed with goodness. At the end of it, I didn't hesitate to give it a 5 (Goodreads rating). One book, two stories, several surprises, intertwined to become one great book. It was refreshing reading this genre, as a new Christian fiction reader. Reading this just easily flowed, I cannot put it down. Like I was meant to read it all along. It fit perfectly in my hands and in my heart. Wonderful things happen such us relating to Tenley's pressure and frustrations, Birdie's dreams and caged life, and repeating phrase "Do not be dismayed, you don't have to worry or be afraid" spoke to my current worry (I have something in my mind while in course of my reading. It really bugged me out and I found this book easy to escape with, not knowing I'd, in turn, receive a comfort and reassurance from those very words. And did I mentioned, repeating? They said when you hear or read a word/s for you repeatedly, it has something to say.) I would recommend this book to new adult to adult (due to some mature scenes) Christian and even non-Christian readers. Read full review here:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have to confess, I wasn’t sure if I would like The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck, so I was going to skip reading it, until it showed up on my doorstep. I’m not much of a historical fiction reader, but I’ve enjoyed other books by Rachel Hauck, and the concept of an author and the desk intrigued me. In present day we find Tenley Roth. She is an author and her first book was a success. Her second book is due really soon and she is afraid that she won’t be able to repeat her earlier success. When her estranged mother calls and asks her to come to Florida, she is reluctant to go. Once she makes her way to Florida, she meets Jonas Sullivan. Jonas is a furniture designer and the two hit it off. Now comes the historical part, which was actually something I really enjoyed! Birdie is born during the Gilded Age and is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Her mother controls much of her life and her mom has chosen someone for her to marry. The problem is, Birdie has dreams of her own and they aren’t her mother’s. While Tenley and Birdie are from two very different worlds, there is a connection that joins them together. All of this created an intriguing story that took me on an emotional journey. One thing that stood out to me was the excellent way Rachel took me from one time period to the other. I’ve read books where this distracted from the story and was hard to follow, but that wasn’t the case in The Writing Desk. I found the story easy to follow and actually enjoyed the two different settings. Rachel did an excellent job in developing the characters and drawing me into the story. There was something special about this book that made me want to keep reading it. I’m so glad I took the time to read this book and didn’t end up passing it up. I’m really looking forward to the next book from Rachel. *I received a free copy of this product to facilitate this post, however you, my readers, come first and all opinions are my own.
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. I was not asked or compensated for a favorable review. This was another wonderful book from Rachel. I enjoyed the story written from each persons feelings about so many things. I loved that two of the characters are both writers and brings them so much closer as you read the story. And the historical information brought into this book. When you think about so many young women of society not being able to make decision for themselves because of the fathers controlling their funds and trying to marry them off to men they may not love for better business responsibilities. Or English gentlemen marry wealthy young women from the state because they needed the influx of money from the new money of the US. And luckily a lot of those ended in happy marriages. I would recommend this book to all of my friends.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
The past and the present are linked together by a desk and a secret.... 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.
Lane_Hill_House More than 1 year ago
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck, © 2017 A slip time Gilded Age/ Contemporary Novel ~ author Rachel Hauck My Review: Tenley Roth and Birdie Shehorn have a lot in common beyond a shared writing desk. Generations apart, an adventurous heart will appear. But... not right away ~ their stories are exquisite!! This is a story of hope and determination, sorrow and J*O*Y discovered, patience and continuing ahead, regardless of detours placed by others who have plans for them. I liked the two-generational story and the twists and stops for me to catch my breath! Intriguing and true to their time periods, these two women will find their hidden hearts' desire caught unaware. I loved the intermingling of their stories. Lyrical and uncertain, the melody of this writing surpasses unforeseeable conclusions! The Writing Desk will linger and be ready for a second read! Exceptional and smoothly written, gliding from one period to the other. I really liked it! ***Thank you to the publisher for sending a copy of Rachel Hauck's newest novel, The Writing Desk, for this book tour. This review was written in my own words. No other compensation was received.***
Kathae More than 1 year ago
Author Rachel Hauck has again masterfully crafted a story I couldn't put down. It's actually two stories, one modern and one historical, which end up being beautifully connected. Transitions between the two were seamless. I was drawn into both stories immediately and enjoyed them equally. Fans of Gilded Age historical and contemporary romance will enjoy this book. Readers also get a peek into the publishing industry in both eras.
StephieJ More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed The Writing Desk. It was an excellent book. This book held my attention from the first pages. It was so hard to put this book down. I found myself wanting to find out how the book would come to an end. This book has rich historical details! I enjoyed that the story was told from two different narrators one from the present (Tenley) and one from the past (Birdie). I really love how the author brought together and weaved the two narrators together. This is the third book I have read by this author. Her books just keep on getting better. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My opinion is honest and is my own.