Two parallel stories of young women generations apart.
Tenley Roth is the great-great-granddaughter of Gordon Phipps Roth, and she received the prestigious Roth award for her first book, and she's under a lot of pressure to finish her second book, but she's plagued by severe writer's block. When her estranged mother contacts her, Tenley decides to go to Florida to support her mother, Blanche,as she goes through chemotherapy, instead of going to Paris with her live-in boyfriend.
Jonas Sullivan comes to Grove Manor to pick up an old desk, but Tenley begs him to leave it because she is convinced that it will help with her writing. And as she writes she finds her story and wonders if the handsome carpenter will become a part of it.
In the Gilded Age, Birdie Shehorn, dreams of being a writer, but she is born to a life of wealth and privilege. She wants to pursue a career in writing but her parents are arranging a marriage for her instead. They have arranged for her to marry Alphonse, who is a notorious playboy flirt. But when she sees the man that she based her story on from a summer in England, her hopes soar until she learns that Elijah is engaged to another as well. Will Birdie find the freedom to follow her heart?
I like that both Jonas and Elijah are men of integrity and faith, which is why they can only offer friendship. Elijah is honor bound to marry for money to save his family estate, while Jonas holds back because he knows that Tenley is engaged even though she doesn't wear the ring and hasn't said yes.
I think Birdie is my favorite character because she holds onto her faith and stands up for herself when everything seems to be against her, refusing to accept her mother's manipulation and accepting that Elijah must keep his word. Her wedding is filled with many surprises and I like how the book shows snaps of her life afterwards as well.
Tenley begins her journey of faith, and Jonas encourages her to read the Bible she found in the stuck drawer of the desk. She has to face up to choices she made in the past and move forward. And I loved Jonas he is an absolute gentleman.
I really liked Birdie's story, Tenley's was a bit slower to start, but picked up quickly once she got to Florida. A great read that entwines two stories generations apart, and the choices that change two young women's lives forever.
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