Forlag Thomas Nelson
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When five strangers, Jett, Lexa, Coral, Chuck and Ed, out of the blue get invited to the Fifth Avenue Literary Society Library, they don’t understand what’s going on. Gradually they get past their insecurities and start sharing some of the stories of their lives. These strangers with no previous connection come to trust each other, pour their hearts out and wrestle with each other’s stories to get to the truths.
This story starts with background stories of each of the invited. Each has past issues they have been too afraid to deal with and prefers to keep secret. But as they keep meting every Monday night, they share more and more details and are bringing fresh, new perspectives into each member’s life. New input and new inspiration helps to reignite the lives of these somewhat stuck and lonely people. Their relationships seem to develop and the support of the society helps the members reflect on their past and move through some hard issues. They learn to love and be loved, be cared for and respected as they get more and more involved and willing to be there for each other.
I enjoyed the personal development we get to witness by following these individuals as members of the story society. From being rather closed off when joining, they learn to open up about their feelings and trusting the other members with the real truths about their lives. The stories they share become more and more heartbreaking, raw and honest.
The plot presents each society member similar to diary entries where we get to follow their unique process. The writing draws me into how their lives feel to them from the inside with all the fear, grief, and hurt feelings they experience. Going to the story society every Monday somehow adds to their lives and contributes to the healing they didn’t expect or seek.
The members of the story society is a good cast of well developed characters I feel are easy to identify with as they have their individual issues they try to lie, cover up or in other ways refuse to deal with leading to resentment and bitterness in their lives. This makes them all believable, real and special. I appreciated the faith element mixed into the plot which intensified towards the end.
My favorite of the characters is Lexa Wilder who is personal assistant in a burger chain. I am delighted to see her finally stand up for herself work wise. Her eyes get abruptly opened when she understands she really has caught the wrong end of the stick. Realizing this, she has to figure out what she wants and make a tough adjustment.
I felt the writing was vivid. In my mind’s eye I could see how the Fifth Avenue Story Society Library might actually look like. Fascinating how the meetings were held in surroundings of antique furniture, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and dusty carpets. I envisioned maybe it might look something like a mini version of the library at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movie.
This is the first book I read from Rachel Hauck, but she will be on my radar from now on and I will be on the lookout for more of her previous works as well as future releases. I would recommend The Fifth Avenue Story Society to fans of Rachel Hauck and readers of romance genre.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
My rating: 5 stars / 5
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