Name: Kathi Linz
Job title: Information services assistant for the Jackson County Public Library
What’s the name of the book and author you are recommending?
I recommend “The Writing Desk” by Rachel Hauck. I have enjoyed several of her books, but this one sticks with me the most.
What made you want to pick up this book in the first place?
I enjoy writing, and the title alone was enough to make me pick it up.
Once you got into the book, what made you want to keep reading it?
The book is split into two stories taking place a century apart. Two of the main characters share a writing desk but in different times and very different worlds. I don’t want to spoil the reader’s enjoyment of the story, but one of the writers in the book is a fraud. How did Birdie’s story get into someone else’s book?
Once you finished the book, what did you like about it?
I enjoyed the connections between the various characters, how there is a familial connection as well as how the writing desk went from one generation to the next.
What is the book about?
This book is no stranger than real life.
(Past) Birdie is an educated upper-class young woman just after World War I. Her mother is a social climber and wants to take Mrs. Astor’s place as head of New York’s society. Birdie wants to write books and marry for love, if and when she marries at all.
(Past) Eli is a peer in England, faced with having to marry for money rather than love to keep his family’s estate in good repair. He met Birdie before the war and fell in love with her, but her father won’t waste his money on an Old-World noble family.
(Current) Tenley is a New York writer who wins an award for her first novel. The award is granted through a foundation that was begun by her great-grandfather, Gordon Phipps Roth. Gordon had dealings with Birdie back in their day. Tenley’s father, who recently died, was a well-known writer of mysteries.
(Current) Tenley’s mother abandoned the family when Tenley was young and now lives in Florida. She needs Tenley’s help while she undergoes chemotherapy. Tenley’s boyfriend proposes and then wants her to go to Paris with him on some kind of business.
Tenley has a book deadline coming up in about three months, and she can’t come up with a new story to save her life. What does Tenley decide to do? Will her new book get written? How does Birdie solve the problem of being a New York socialite and writer? It simply isn’t done. Will any of them find the right marriage partner?
Why would you recommend this book to others?
If you don’t mind jumping from one part of the story to the other, you will enjoy this book. The complications pile up and finally unravel in a very satisfying way.
I would love to recommend any of Rachel Hauck’s books. I am currently reading “A Royal Christmas Wedding.” I don’t pick up romances very often, but this one has a fascinating tradition at its base. A young man would climb to the top of the bell tower with 182 worn stone steps and ring it at midnight on Harvest Festival night. Then he would court his chosen lady and marry her on Christmas Day, if she showed up for the wedding. One hundred eighty-two years ago, a prince and his friend climbed the stairs. The prince rang the bell and then told his friend who he wanted to marry. The friend says he wants to marry the same lady. A scuffle ensues, and the prince falls down the tower stairs to his death. No one has rung the bell since until this year when the bell rang by itself while two men were once again in the tower. You may enjoy this book, as well, if you are looking for a story with a satisfying ending.
These books are available in regular or large print and also on Hoopla and Overdrive/Libby to enjoy on your various devices.