Author: Rachel Hauck
Publication Year: 2020
Personal Rating: ★★★★
Genre: Clean Romance, Contemporary Fiction
The Fifth Avenue Story Society is yet another enjoyable read from Hauck. Her stories are the perfect read to pick up when you need a comfort-food type read. Hauck’s stories somehow manage to be well written while including elements like royals from imaginary countries (I can think of some people who could really use a lesson from her in this art) and although they are in essence unbelievable, they feel realistic.
One aspect of The Fifth Avenue Story Society that I found interesting was the lack of Christian characters. This was both refreshing and slightly unrealistic. It was refreshing in the sense that I enjoyed reading a clean story where the characters did not all identify as Christians. The unrealistic part was the fact that although they had absolutely no relationship with God, the characters lived extremely clean lifestyles. On the one hand I understood and appreciated this, after all many of Hauck’s readers would have been quite unhappy with any type of language being present in the story, but I found it to be slightly unrealistic.
As is the case in many of Hauck’s books The Fifth Avenue Story Society features alternating third person POVs. Unlike Hauck’s other books there are five wonderful characters whose POVs are shared. This element of The Fifth Avenue Story Society kept me engaged and invested in the stories of characters I came to love. My personal favorite characters are Coral, a successful businesswoman who chooses to give up her fairy-tale to follow God, and Eddie, an older man who needs to leave the past behind.
The mysterious, beautiful and old library was a wonderful place for the characters to find community and a refuge from the world. The overall setting of the organized chaos that is New York City contrasted perfectly with the peaceful library. As I read The Fifth Avenue Story Society I wished that I could visit and explore a library and city, surrounded by strangers, whose faces were not covered by masks. It is funny how even so-called realistic/contemporary stories feel both dated and nostalgic these days.
A major theme of The Fifth Avenue Story Society was the opportunity to have a second chance. A chance to restore a marriage, another chance to have a relationship with family members, a chance at redemption as a father and a second chance at love. It is hard not to love a story that shows the characters’ struggles as they fight for their second chances at life.
For the readers, such as myself, who have read many of Hauck’s other books there are subtle mentions of characters who we grew to love in those books. GPR makes appearances as Jett discovers the lies his favorite author told the world and Tenny makes a quick appearance of her own. Finding those cameos of characters makes the reading of The Fifth Avenue Story Society even more rich.
“Nothing in the world like the spark between men and women. What a marvelous and mysterious combination. Two sides of the same coin, you know. We both want the same thing, to give and receive love, to be cared for, respected. We just come at it from a different point of view.” – Rachel Hauck
Have you read The Fifth Avenue Story Society or any of Hauck’s other books? What are you currently reading? What is a book on your tbr list that you are jumping-up-and-down excited to read?