Inspirational Fiction Picks
The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck:
Tenley Roth’s first book was a literary and commercial success. Now that her second book is due, she’s locked in fear. Can she repeat her earlier success or is she a fraud who merely found a bit of luck? 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.
Born during the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn is the daughter of the old money Knickerbockers. Yet her life is not her own. Under the strict control of her mother, her every move is decided ahead of time, even whom she’ll marry. But Birdie has dreams of her own. She wants to tell stories, write novels, make an impact on the world. When she discovers her mother has literally destroyed her dreams, 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. Yet when Tenley discovers Birdie’s manuscript, their lives intersect. Birdie’s words help Tenley find a way home. Tenley brings Birdie’s writing to the world.
Can two women separated by time help fulfill each other’s destiny?
Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden
When globetrotting photographer Maggie Henry loses the only man she’s ever loved, she jeopardizes her rising career and steps in to care for her best friends’ three young children on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest.
Free-spirited and fiercely independent, Maggie’s star is rising fast. But she has a secret. She can’t let go of her first and only love, renowned architect Marco Firelli, now married to her best friend Lena.With the shattering news of Marco’s death, Maggie rushes to the Firelli family’s summer home on San Juan Island and attempts to provide stability for the children as fragile, perfectionist Lena slowly falls apart.
When Maggie is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to compete in the world’s most prestigious photography competition, she finds herself unable to leave the only family she has during their time of need.
Devastated, Maggie takes a series of photographs documenting their life in limbo.
A mysterious man appears on the island, and Maggie soon realizes there is more to him than meets the eye. Daniel Wolfe, an award-winning Native American poet hiding in exile on the island, is responsible for Marco’s death. Maggie is both drawn to and repelled by Daniel, a sensitive, tortured soul with secrets of his own. Out of their loneliness and grief they form an unlikely friendship. Maggie develops her recent photographs, and she’s elated to discover that they are good enough for the photography competition. She still has a chance to win. But she must first relinquish the past so that she can move forward and embrace the reality of her unexpected life.
A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?
Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered. But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?
The summer holidays are over, and I don’t know about you, but summer 2017 sorta kicked my butt! I’m not sad to say it–buh bye!! Maybe you had a marvelous summer, or maybe your little urchins drove you crazy and you can’t wait for that school bus to arrive! Or maybe your big people had things that taxed you extremely (that’s my category). Whatever the case, we offer you three very different novels that all arrived under the “inspirational” genre. They may be just the thing to lift your saggy summer doldrums or pump up your painful summer departure!
I have mixed feelings about the end of summer, to be honest. I enjoyed most of my summer, but yesterday, when all the kids were off to school and I spent a blissful 6 hours all by myself doing whatever I wanted? Yeah. That was good. Almost as good as these three novels. I loved all three of them. I’m always excited when a new novel by Rachel Hauck is published, because her storytelling is superb. I especially loved the way she transitions between Birdie and Tenley’s stories in The Writing Desk, and the secrets that are revealed therein.
Birdie and Tenley live in two different time periods and the story goes back and forth between them. The things that bind the past and the future together are the house they both live in and the writing desk they both use. The Writing Desk is another beautiful story by Rachel Hauck of strong women who take control of their futures and overcome with faith. So compelling.
I like reading about strong women who take control of their futures. It gives me hope that someday Sissy will rise up and shake off the shackles of domesticity – burn her bra, throw off her shoes, let her hair down and be FREE!
Um, which of us currently makes her own money, and is sitting here bra-less and shoe-less? Oh! That would be me!
We’re both shoe-less, thank you. And I had to go out in public, hence a bra. And I don’t want another job – I quite like domesticity. You can be my sugar mama. But that’s beside the point. Do you know who else is a strong, independent woman? Maggie Henry, our heroine from Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden. She takes care of herself and doesn’t need anyone else in her life – until she realizes that she does need people and they need her.
Ascension of Larks is such a complex story. It addresses long-term friendships, convoluted romantic relationships, and death, among other things. It is quite heart wrenching but hope springs up in the end. Though the genre is specified as “inspirational fiction”, this novel has only subtle tones of faith-based material and sometimes touches on the mystical. So different but thoroughly satisfying.
I agree! Our third book is A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White. I loved the humor and family ties that ran through the plot of this story. Although the ending was predictable, it was such a delightful ending (and I wanted it to happen so badly) that I was full of happiness when I closed the book.
Definitely the lightest of the three books, A Name Unknown is a period piece about a street thief, no less, who through a series of interesting events manages to change her whole life. Not that her whole life was so bad, mind you. Meaning she had a lot of good characteristics in her thieving self, such as family loyalty and love. If Bubby and I had to live on the street, lightening other’s pockets and living off our wits, we probably would just end up dead in a ditch.
Well, since you “make your own money”, we’ll never have to resort to that!
Yes, good thing some of us are gainfully employed and enjoy a more erudite existence, interacting with the world and its people.
Hey now. I went to Wal-Mart yesterday. Interacted with lots of people.
Yep. Anyway, you readers will quickly become engaged with Rosemary and Peter in A Name Unknown and enjoy their adventures. All three of our inspirational picks will give you something unique and are well worth the read.
Yes! Use all that extra time you have now that the kids are out the door to catch up on the reading you thought you’d get done this summer and didn’t!
Click HERE to buy Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden