The Fifth Avenue Story Society
An invitation to join The Fifth Avenue Story Society gives five New York strangers a chance to rewrite their own stories.Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed.Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud.Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids.Aging widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage.Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to bear their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts, and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls. 

The Fifth Avenue Story Society Details

TitleThe Fifth Avenue Story Society
Author
ReleaseFeb 4th, 2020
PublisherThomas Nelson
ISBN-139780785216674
Rating
GenreFiction, Christian Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Christian

The Fifth Avenue Story Society Review

  • Janet
    January 1, 1970
    When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ), superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOLI requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do .An invitation to join When it is snowy and cold outside (and my car is buried under 2ft of ❄️ ), superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOLI requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.An invitation to join The Fifth Avenue Story Society gives five New York strangers a chance to rewrite their own stories.Executive assistant Lexa is eager for a much-deserved promotion, but her boss is determined to keep her underemployed. Literature professor Jett is dealing with a broken heart, as well as a nagging suspicion his literary idol, Gordon Phipps Roth, might be a fraud. Uber driver Chuck just wants a second chance with his kids. Ageing widower Ed is eager to write the true story of his incredible marriage. Coral, queen of the cosmetics industry, has broken her engagement and is on the verge of losing her great grandmother’s multimillion-dollar empire.When all five New Yorkers receive an anonymous, mysterious invitation to the Fifth Avenue Story Society, they suspect they’re victims of a practical joke. No one knows who sent the invitations or why. No one has heard of the literary society. And no one is prepared to bear their deepest secrets to a roomful of strangers.Yet curiosity and loneliness bring them back week after week to the old library. And it’s there they discover the stories of their hearts and the kind of friendship and love that heals their souls. This was a totally enjoyable book from page one to tend. The characters, although beyond diverse gel as a group and reminds me that friends are friends despite their disparities. In fact, the more different the better. These characters are well fleshed out and the storyline totally enjoyable and plausible - leave it to Rachel Hauck to write such an awesome book that has nothing to do with her usual bride-related oeuvre of books.As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 📚📚📚📚📚
    more
  • Melike
    January 1, 1970
    Jett, Lexa, Chuck, Coral, and Ed receive a mysterious invitation to Fifth Avenue Story Society. None of them know the reason why they got an invitation and almost all of them are reluctant to continue attending the meetings. However, they return every Monday night out of curiosity and they start developing a friendship. Each of them has a story and painful pasts. By then end of the book, they become a freer version of their former selves and find love, forgiveness and most of all friendship.I Jett, Lexa, Chuck, Coral, and Ed receive a mysterious invitation to Fifth Avenue Story Society. None of them know the reason why they got an invitation and almost all of them are reluctant to continue attending the meetings. However, they return every Monday night out of curiosity and they start developing a friendship. Each of them has a story and painful pasts. By then end of the book, they become a freer version of their former selves and find love, forgiveness and most of all friendship.I loved each of these characters and loved reading about their individual stories…their past and present struggles, their hopes, and dreams. I imagined myself sitting in that room with them. It was so well written. I especially loved how the author made New York City come alive for me. Overall, it was an inspirational, uplifting and heartwarming story and I am glad I read it. I will definitely be seeking out the rest of Rachel Hauck’s books in the future. Thank you to Net Galley and Thomas Nelson for providing me with an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
    more
  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    My new favorite Rachel Hauck book! Loved a magical library where healing and friendships happen. Loved being a fly on the wall for the journeys of these 5 characters. I think my favorite was Ed & his testimony of sacrificial love in the face of many hardships. This story made for a really enjoyable Audible listen. And it was fun for me (as an English teacher) that the head of the New York College English Department was named Renee ;)
    more
  • Sarita
    January 1, 1970
    Rachel Hauck was on my to-read list for a while now, but this was my first read by her and know I understand why she is a favourite among my book-reading friends.This story about 5 strangers receiving a strange invitation to a story society was intriguing and the author executed it well by the way she introduced the characters, hinting at their stories but slowly revealing more as the story develops. The story jumped between the characters, but it was never confusing and the flowed well between Rachel Hauck was on my to-read list for a while now, but this was my first read by her and know I understand why she is a favourite among my book-reading friends.This story about 5 strangers receiving a strange invitation to a story society was intriguing and the author executed it well by the way she introduced the characters, hinting at their stories but slowly revealing more as the story develops. The story jumped between the characters, but it was never confusing and the flowed well between all the characters and the story as a whole.The characters were flawed, had past hurts that influence their today and had to learn to face the truth to be able to move forward.The Christian element came through more towards the end. This was about a group of lost souls who had to face truths and find the ultimate truth.Now, for those readers who prefer very clean reads... this story included mention of adult romance which included mention of sexual intimacy and one heated kiss. This is highly recommended to fans of contemporary fiction. I will definitely read more by this author."I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."
    more
  • Cara Putman
    January 1, 1970
    Rachel Hauck is well-known to her fans as an author of books with compelling characters, heaven invading earth, and a romance that will win your heart. With The Fifth Avenue Story Society, Hauck delves into the space of our greatest wounds and how confronting them brings freedom, healing, and hope. She accomplishes that with a story told from five characters’ perspectives, each one rich with the possibility of more constrained by the chains of the past. The characters’ search for freedom points Rachel Hauck is well-known to her fans as an author of books with compelling characters, heaven invading earth, and a romance that will win your heart. With The Fifth Avenue Story Society, Hauck delves into the space of our greatest wounds and how confronting them brings freedom, healing, and hope. She accomplishes that with a story told from five characters’ perspectives, each one rich with the possibility of more constrained by the chains of the past. The characters’ search for freedom points the reader to healing while delving into the power of each person’s fully embraced story. I’m grateful for the time I spent with this group and these pages. Readers who love a story laced with heart and hope will adore this Hauck’s latest offering.
    more
  • Randi Annie Framnes
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
    more
  • Caitlyn Santi
    January 1, 1970
    An absolutely lovely novel! It has been quite a while since I've read a book by this author but something about the description of this one intrigued me! At first I wasn't sure about the alternating POV from five different characters, but I'm happy to say that it totally worked for this story! I was enthralled with all of the characters' individual stories, though I think I found myself most closely connecting with Coral's story. These are definitely characters that I will be thinking about for An absolutely lovely novel! It has been quite a while since I've read a book by this author but something about the description of this one intrigued me! At first I wasn't sure about the alternating POV from five different characters, but I'm happy to say that it totally worked for this story! I was enthralled with all of the characters' individual stories, though I think I found myself most closely connecting with Coral's story. These are definitely characters that I will be thinking about for a long time to come! While there is romance in this story I would consider it more of a general fiction novel, which I absolutely loved and was a great change of pace without giving up the romance that I love so much! I so enjoyed The Fifth Avenue Story Society and am so glad that I read it! If you're looking for an engaging read that will touch your heart look no further! I highly recommend The FifthAvenue Story Society and I predict it will be in the running for all the awards in the next year!(5 Stars!)I received a copy of this book from the publisher and also purchased a copy of the audiobook. My review was not required or influenced in any way. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.
    more
  • Natalie Walters
    January 1, 1970
    Moving beyond the stunning cover, this book delivers a story that'll enchant every book lover's heart. A special invitation has been delivered to five unsuspecting individuals for purposes unknown until they each begin to share their story. I really enjoyed each character and the way their lives intersected with one another. Well-developed and memorable, each storyline was unique and carried a theme specific to the character and the emotional/professional/physical challenges they faced. There's Moving beyond the stunning cover, this book delivers a story that'll enchant every book lover's heart. A special invitation has been delivered to five unsuspecting individuals for purposes unknown until they each begin to share their story. I really enjoyed each character and the way their lives intersected with one another. Well-developed and memorable, each storyline was unique and carried a theme specific to the character and the emotional/professional/physical challenges they faced. There's romance, mystery, a whisper of soul-challenging issues that bring heart and emotion to the pages of this book. I loved that this story carried part of the plot from The Writing Desk, which was one of my favorite of Ms. Hauck's novels and I can easily say I now have another favorite. ***I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.***
    more
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars, rounded upI love Rachel Hauck's writing style, she draws me into the story and I am captivated until the end. This offering is intriguing, but there are a couple of things that didn't work that well for me in this novel. One, you really need to have read The Writing Desk fairly recently (or remember it well) to get the full impact Jett's storyline. His research into one of the main characters of that book are a major plot point, and I can see how one would be bored during those parts 3.5 stars, rounded upI love Rachel Hauck's writing style, she draws me into the story and I am captivated until the end. This offering is intriguing, but there are a couple of things that didn't work that well for me in this novel. One, you really need to have read The Writing Desk fairly recently (or remember it well) to get the full impact Jett's storyline. His research into one of the main characters of that book are a major plot point, and I can see how one would be bored during those parts and maybe a bit lost if you haven't read it. I personally loved that book, but it was a while ago so I needed a refresher. The second thing was that every character had a "big" secret, and I thought some of them were drawn out a bit too long, and their reactions and things they said seemed forced because they were trying to cover those secrets.Those aside, I grew to really like all of the characters and cheered them on through their various emotional and spiritual journeys. I loved the theme of "the truth shall set you free" and how it manifested itself in many different ways throughout this book. All in all, a great book from Hauck and worth the time to read it.I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
    more
  • Brittany
    January 1, 1970
    This creative tale of friendship, community, and second chances follows five New Yorkers as they meet under mysterious circumstances and form a sort of club together.I enjoyed following the characters as they each attempted to navigate uncertainty in their lives and decide on the next steps they should take.There was the stirring and hope of romance for these characters as the novel progressed. Letting go of lies, hidden truths, and guilt was an important step for each of the characters, as This creative tale of friendship, community, and second chances follows five New Yorkers as they meet under mysterious circumstances and form a sort of club together.I enjoyed following the characters as they each attempted to navigate uncertainty in their lives and decide on the next steps they should take.There was the stirring and hope of romance for these characters as the novel progressed. Letting go of lies, hidden truths, and guilt was an important step for each of the characters, as well.The Fifth Avenue Story Society was definitely a page turner with a satisfying conclusion that should please fans of women’s fiction, as well as those who love a good romance.I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.You can read this review on my blog:https://brittreadsfiction.wordpress.c...
    more
  • Karen R
    January 1, 1970
    "Every day we tell, listen to, live and breathe stories."Set in New York City, this interesting mix of characters from different walks of life are brought together by a mysterious invitation to a "Story Society". Their stories unfold and the group quickly forms friendships, helping each other in ways they would have never imagined. There is a connection to the story from The Writing Desk, but the book is a stand alone. "We want to be seen, heard, and loved." This author definitely knows "Every day we tell, listen to, live and breathe stories."Set in New York City, this interesting mix of characters from different walks of life are brought together by a mysterious invitation to a "Story Society". Their stories unfold and the group quickly forms friendships, helping each other in ways they would have never imagined. There is a connection to the story from The Writing Desk, but the book is a stand alone. "We want to be seen, heard, and loved." This author definitely knows people--with all of their fears, flaws, hopes and dreams--and skillfully draws the reader in to care about this struggling group. Told from their five perspectives, it was easy to follow along as their lives intersected and they began to have a positive impact on each other. They were all stuck because of something in their pasts, preventing them from moving on and fully living. It takes courage to change and overcome some obstacles, and they helped each other in this way. It reminded me of the verse in Proverbs that says, "Iron sharpens iron." We all have a story and never know if ours can help someone else. A touch of divine intervention is at play here, something this author does well, adding a bit of mystery. Some faith and inspirational moments later on interjected a lot of hope. Overall this is a story of second chances, redemption, and love. I wondered how it would all come together, and the ending was definitely worth the wait. Recommend to readers who enjoy contemporary women's fiction with flawed characters and adult romance. 4.5 stars(An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)
    more
  • Melissa Borsey
    January 1, 1970
    A sweet, endearing srory about 5 strangers brought together by an invitation received out of the blue for reasons unknown, to the Fifth Avenue Story Society. This turns out to be a place where strangers become friends and I loved getting to know them all. I thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review this delightful book.
    more
  • Robin Hatcher
    January 1, 1970
    I was captivated by this story from the first paragraph, and my heart soon became invested in the lives of the various members of the Fifth Avenue Story Society. It’s magical. My favorite Rachel Hauck novel to date!
  • Gloria
    January 1, 1970
    This is a story with an unusual situation that hooked me from the beginning. Five different people receive an embossed formal invitation to attend a story society meeting at a Fifth Avenue literary society. There is not a postmark...they just appeared to each person. They are all strangers but for two people...Jett Wilder, an associate professor of literature at New York College and his ex-wife, Lexa Wilder, an executive assistant of an up and coming gourmet hamburger restaurant. The rest of the This is a story with an unusual situation that hooked me from the beginning. Five different people receive an embossed formal invitation to attend a story society meeting at a Fifth Avenue literary society. There is not a postmark...they just appeared to each person. They are all strangers but for two people...Jett Wilder, an associate professor of literature at New York College and his ex-wife, Lexa Wilder, an executive assistant of an up and coming gourmet hamburger restaurant. The rest of the group includes, Coral Winthrop, an heiress, leader of a cosmetic company, and whose family own the literary society, Chuck, an Uber driver, and Ed, a retired publishing worker and now super of his apartment building. What they don't know is why they are there and who invited them. They all have emotional hurts and real problems that are hindering their happiness. Each person's story is told away from the group. As they continue meeting, they develop a relationship and become friends that depend on each other and look forward to their Monday night meetings where they enjoy a meal, visit, talk, and eventually have to gain enough trust with each other to turn loose of their closely held secrets that keep them from moving forward. This is an emotional story where each person has to figure out unresolved issues, meet them head-on, sometimes in a painful way. There are surprises and healing, courage to go on, romance, and faith in the mix. Another winner by Rachel Hauck and her unique voice and storytelling. This is a thought provoking story that stayed with me/I received a complimentary ARC from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.
    more
  • Dawn Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    "Precious. Timeless. Capsules of life and history. But the Fifth Avenue Literary Society Library was not about closed books. It was about open lives." When we meet Jett at the opening of The Fifth Avenue Story Society, the New York literature professor is in jail. He had too much to drink at a friend’s wedding reception (he has issues with weddings which we’ll learn about) and stepped in to defend a bridesmaid from unwanted advances from a groomsman. He spends the night in jail with a man named "Precious. Timeless. Capsules of life and history. But the Fifth Avenue Literary Society Library was not about closed books. It was about open lives." When we meet Jett at the opening of The Fifth Avenue Story Society, the New York literature professor is in jail. He had too much to drink at a friend’s wedding reception (he has issues with weddings which we’ll learn about) and stepped in to defend a bridesmaid from unwanted advances from a groomsman. He spends the night in jail with a man named Chuck, who also stepped into the fight. The two don’t exactly become friends that night, but their lives again intersect when they both receive a mysterious anonymous invitation to The Fifth Avenue Story Society. At the first Society meeting, Jett and Uber/limo driver Chuck come face to face with a widower named Ed, cosmestics CEO and high-society woman Coral, and Jett’s ex-wife, Lexa who is consumed by her job and her ambition. Though no one knows why they’ve been invited or by whom, the group decides to continue meeting on Monday nights over a shared meal. The very different group of individuals share enough of their lives that they begin to have genuine relationship. Ultimately, The Fifth Avenue Story Society is a tale of community and trust. It’s about healing from past hurts by having the courage and faith to walk through the pain with honesty. The characters find and forge connections with each other but each also learns about himself/herself and finds a second chance at happiness. I enjoyed watching these people from different walks of life and different life experiences interact and begin to care about one another. The novel does a good job of showing the characters’ progressions as they learn to be vulnerable and share their difficult stories and life secrets with one another. I liked that there was a decent amount of complexity to their lives and their identities, each being uniquely believeable. One of the characters has a story of coming to faith. I appreciated that although this is a Christian novel, for the majority of the work only one of the characters really discusses faith. It took some suspension of disbelief to buy into these disparate New Yorkers being willing to keep meeting with one another, so I liked that believability wasn’t further stretched by making them all Christians. However (*spoiler warning*), by the novel’s end, all five have begun to reach out to God and advance in their own faith journeys. I found this kind of ending a bit too pat and happily-ever-after. Still, the novel was a pleasure to read and is well-suited for TV film adaptation (think Hallmark Channel). Verdict: 4 of 5 Hearts. Five Lonely New Yorkers Find Community and Hope Through Shared Personal Stories.
    more
  • Nora St Laurent
    January 1, 1970
    I savored this delightful journey through the eyes a unique cast of characters and the dilemma they find themselves in. Each is at a turning point in their lives that will change things forever, when they get an invitation to meet at the Fifth Avenue bookstore. Right away I loved the atmosphere, I liked the characters and how each of them tries to figure out why they got the invitation, what’s their connection? Once I gave up my expectations about the society, who sent the invitations and what I savored this delightful journey through the eyes a unique cast of characters and the dilemma they find themselves in. Each is at a turning point in their lives that will change things forever, when they get an invitation to meet at the Fifth Avenue bookstore. Right away I loved the atmosphere, I liked the characters and how each of them tries to figure out why they got the invitation, what’s their connection? Once I gave up my expectations about the society, who sent the invitations and what their mission would be about, I enjoyed the story so much (like I usually do with this author). I liked the rich characterization, the honesty, and the natural spiritual thread, their struggles, triumphs. magical moments sprinkled through the heartache and of course their book adventures. This would make a good book club pick as there is so much to discuss. It also makes a great book getaway.Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”Nora St. LaurentTBCN Where Book Fun Begins! www.bookfun.org The Book Club Network blog www.psalm516.blogspot.com Book Fun Catalogue front page www.bookfun.org
    more
  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    I was so intrigued by the idea of five different people receiving mysterious invitations to a library. Each character had a compelling story to share, yet hesitated to reveal their authentic selves. The wounds and the heartache examined within the pages of The Fifth Avenue Story Society are struggles real-life readers can relate to. I became deeply invested in these characters and had to keep reading to see how they evolved through their journey in the story. No spoilers of course, but I must I was so intrigued by the idea of five different people receiving mysterious invitations to a library. Each character had a compelling story to share, yet hesitated to reveal their authentic selves. The wounds and the heartache examined within the pages of The Fifth Avenue Story Society are struggles real-life readers can relate to. I became deeply invested in these characters and had to keep reading to see how they evolved through their journey in the story. No spoilers of course, but I must say their concern for one another and the friendships that develop make for an enjoyable reading experience. Also, I've been reading Christian fiction for over thirty years and I love the way Rachel constructed this story to point readers toward God. So subtle and such a lovely invitation for each reader, gently reminding us that our Heavenly Father is always ready and available.Rachel Hauck is an incredible storyteller and this is my favorite novel of all that she's written so far.Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the complimentary copy. All opinions stated here are my own.
    more
  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    I liked this book! It was kind of hard to get into it in the beginning but as I read on it got better and better.Five people get an invite from all over the city out of the blue.I think my favorite scene was at the beginning. I can relate to what happened. I'm not a big fan of crowds either but I would respect my friends and show up either way it went. I kind of had to snicker at how and where they ended up. I love Rachel's books. I love her stories and how they can be very realistic and I liked this book! It was kind of hard to get into it in the beginning but as I read on it got better and better.Five people get an invite from all over the city out of the blue.I think my favorite scene was at the beginning. I can relate to what happened. I'm not a big fan of crowds either but I would respect my friends and show up either way it went. I kind of had to snicker at how and where they ended up. I love Rachel's books. I love her stories and how they can be very realistic and believable!! Her writing is amazing!!I ended up staying up all night and finishing it. Wonderful plot and Characters that you can believe in and some you can even make friends with. Either way I hated to say goodbye to them. I am going reread this when it comes out in print. I'm also going to ask my library to order it so I can.My thanks to Netgalley for a complimentary copy of this book. NO compensations were received and all opinions are my own.
    more
  • J.C.
    January 1, 1970
    Ooooh, I loved this book! It was a little slow at the beginning, but once we got about a third of the way through, there was no putting it down. A very carefully woven tale with several moving pieces that somehow all came together PERFECTLY, with the ending I wanted, without feeling forced or cheesy. Oooooo, it was adorable and amazing!The Fifth Avenue Story Society presents us with five unique individuals, all with their distinct personalities and also each a distinct trademark, a childhood Ooooh, I loved this book! It was a little slow at the beginning, but once we got about a third of the way through, there was no putting it down. A very carefully woven tale with several moving pieces that somehow all came together PERFECTLY, with the ending I wanted, without feeling forced or cheesy. Oooooo, it was adorable and amazing!The Fifth Avenue Story Society presents us with five unique individuals, all with their distinct personalities and also each a distinct trademark, a childhood wound that has been unaddressed, and a current impeding problem. As the pages unfurl, these stories unravel more and more, giving you glimpses deeper into what could be the roots of these problems, until finally all is revealed. One would think having five of these complex arcs would be difficult to pull off but I thought it absolutely fit together perfectly. There’s Jett, the emotional, passionate, independent professor/novelist who is trying to reconcile a past he doesn’t want to acknowledge and discover why his divorce with the love of his life happened; Lexa, the aforementioned love of his life, who desperately wants the role of CEO at her company and knows she’s fit for it, but struggles with feeling needed and wanted and is wondering why she doesn’t mind being around Jett all of a sudden; Chuck, the kindhearted guy who’s been hurt one too many times and who dealt with it poorly and was left to deal with the consequences, who’s now trying to get the rest of his life together, somehow; Coral, the face of the famous makeup line who is famous for ditching her prince at the altar for reasons she names to no one; and Ed, the old guy who just wants to novel a story about his wife who passed on too soon, but who may have more left untold in his story. Brought together by chance, the five find they may have more in common than expected and as friendships and stories alike unfold, the result becomes clearer than ever that there must be a higher power at work.I LOVED the connection to The Writing Desk, another one of Hauck’s novels.. I loved how each character was so unique and individual. I loved the different types of wounds and problems addressed, and how they slowly came together, some taking you by surprise, others gently presented for you to figure out on your own. It was a complex story full of growth, and while maybe a little predictable at times, fully satisfying and enjoyable. I found very involved in the story and was commentating along with the characters on more than one occasion! I absolutely fell in love with all of them.Spoilers:When Coral talks about finding Jesus, I love the point she made. “So I asked [my fiancée] who steered his moral compass. Who or what was his moral or spiritual governor. He said himself. He was his own highest power, supreme commander, and chief architect of his life...in an instant, this fear hit me. Not like anything I’d ever felt before. As if God heard and wrote down what Gus claimed. I begged him to reconsider God as a part of our life...if Gus’s highest authority was himself, then to whom did I appeal when I had an issue with him? When we didn’t get along? When I was worried about the choices he was making and could not get him to see reason? If he was his own boss, then I was at risk. How as I to know his self-convictions would keep him faithful to me and our family?”When Lexa brings the manuscript to Jett, begging him to tell the truth instead of keeping it in the shadows, I love what she says: “Is it worth your integrity? Your soul? Someone else will find this manuscript and tell the truth. You’ll just be the fool who kept his mouth shut. Come on, leap. Be your own hero.”Some notes on content....Ed refers to sleeping with his wife on their engagement night; Chuck refers to women many times as hot, beautiful, and having a gorgeous body (“but showing up with a hot, rich babe...how could a guy go wrong?”/ “She was real, genuine, and hot. Did he say that already?”) Ed refers to his wife’s figure as tempting. I did not like the constant referring to women in this way. Granted, these characters also often referred to character and inside beauty, which I appreciated, but I don’t think the evaluation of women on their bodies is in any aspect, no matter how small, healthy, and I did not like this.Coral says, “Humility is a magnet for His affection” referring to God, which I disagree with. Yes, God loves a humble heart. But he loves you regardless. He doesn’t love you more if you’re humble or less if you aren’t.
    more
  • Bess
    January 1, 1970
    While I thoroughly loved Ms. Hauck's Royal Wedding Series, I have yet to find another book or series of hers that I enjoy. Suffice to say that includes this one.Mine is not a popular opinion but that it's mine is enough. For starters, this was more of a clean novel than a Christian read. Yes, there were religious overtones sprinkled with a heavy hand near the end but the rest of the book didn't reverberate the faith.What caught me the most was how I didn't care to know about the lives of the While I thoroughly loved Ms. Hauck's Royal Wedding Series, I have yet to find another book or series of hers that I enjoy. Suffice to say that includes this one.Mine is not a popular opinion but that it's mine is enough. For starters, this was more of a clean novel than a Christian read. Yes, there were religious overtones sprinkled with a heavy hand near the end but the rest of the book didn't reverberate the faith.What caught me the most was how I didn't care to know about the lives of the characters in the book. Things were drawn out and dull. I wanted to only read about Lexa and Jett. But at the same time, I'm divorced and I understand that closing doors sometimes is good, healthy, and the only choice at times. However, with their back and forth, it left me feeling physically sick. Love is supposed to be a choice. I made my choice not to love someone and whether it was right or wrong it was my choice. These two just couldn't choose. It was too fickle and nauseating. I liked Ed's sense of humor in the beginning. However, he changed further in the book. Chuck was broken from the beginning and he got his HEA. Coral was a confusing character. She clashed in every aspect of her life and existence. The college personnel and other side characters didn't feel deep or meaningful. I thought Zane would be more involved only to be happy he wasn't. With so many main characters running around it was confusing on its own.I know Ms. Hauck is a talented writer. However, I didn't see that in this read, and I'm sad about it.I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
    more
  • Julia
    January 1, 1970
    The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck is a most delightful Christian contemporary novel that will warm your heart and soul.Five invitations, five people in need of friendship, all with God-shaped holes that need filling. Monday nights became the highlight of the week as they each grasped hope. “Hope was a powerful salve.”Each person needed to let go of the past in order to move into the future. They each need love and encouragement to face the truth of their pasts. The truth will set The Fifth Avenue Story Society by Rachel Hauck is a most delightful Christian contemporary novel that will warm your heart and soul.Five invitations, five people in need of friendship, all with God-shaped holes that need filling. Monday nights became the highlight of the week as they each grasped hope. “Hope was a powerful salve.”Each person needed to let go of the past in order to move into the future. They each need love and encouragement to face the truth of their pasts. The truth will set each one free from the prison of their past. Only when we open ourselves up being truthful and making ourselves vulnerable will the healing process begin.The characters are all wonderfully drawn. Rachel Hauck has produced realistic, flawed characters who are easy to identify with. At times emotions dictate actions. We need to surrender our emotions to God and rest in His love. We all need God. It is beautiful to witness the birth of a new Christian, to see “the power of her new faith, of her prayers.”Prayer is our lifeline to God. I love this description of it. “From your lips to God’s ears.”The Fifth Avenue Story Society was another totally charming read from Rachel Hauck. The characters warmed my heart as friendships blossomed and hope was restored. I always love Rachel Hauck’s books, they make me smile and feel good.I will leave you with this most powerful quote:“He lived with the breath of God in his lungs.”I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
    more
  • Susan
    January 1, 1970
    Finally! My first book read by Rachel Hauck. I have been wanting to read her stories for years but never seemed to have the time to get to them. Well, that all changes today! I will make the time to get to her backlist! That is how much I loved THE FIFTH AVENUE STORY SOCIETY! Five strangers receive an invitation to join THE FIFTH AVENUE STORY SOCIETY. Jett, Coral , Lexa, Ed, and Chuck have no idea why they were chosen. The very different characters drawn together are all troubled, as we learn Finally! My first book read by Rachel Hauck. I have been wanting to read her stories for years but never seemed to have the time to get to them. Well, that all changes today! I will make the time to get to her backlist! That is how much I loved THE FIFTH AVENUE STORY SOCIETY! Five strangers receive an invitation to join THE FIFTH AVENUE STORY SOCIETY. Jett, Coral , Lexa, Ed, and Chuck have no idea why they were chosen. The very different characters drawn together are all troubled, as we learn when they begin to share their stories. With five different points of view and so much going on outside the society meetings, it can be hard to track at first. But as I was reading, I got to know and care about each of the people involved. All of them are very real and relatable. Once I started reading, it was very hard to stop as I had to know what was going to happen. Rachel Hauck has created some amazing characters and as I was reading THE FIFTH AVENUE STORY SOCIETY I realized that they were all pretending in their lives. As the five of them meet week after week and become more truthful with each other, they become friends and learn all about hope and second chances. Keep the tissues close by because all of these people will pull at your heart strings. Each of the five characters goes through highs and lows, and at times they are even fighting with one another. But in the end, they all learn that trusting one another is better than having no one to trust at all. THE FIFTH AVENUE STORY SOCIETY is a story I really enjoyed and it keeps the reader emotionally invested and engaged in the story until the very last page. The twists and turns will keep you wondering what will happen next. If you are looking for an uplifting story filled with hope, then this is the book for you! Rachel Hauck’s writing is so vivid that I actually felt like I was sitting in the history filled library amongst it’s dusty bookshelves! I love when an author can transport me right into the story and Rachel Hauck did not dissapoint. I received a complimentary copy of this book from CelebrateLit. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
    more
  • Donna (More Than a Review)
    January 1, 1970
    You have five very different individuals that receive an invitation to an old New York Library.Lexa’s story was interesting in that she could remain friends with her boss after the way he treated her.Jett was a professor and tortured by the loss of his brother. He is also a writer with a very serious dilemma on his hands. It was also interestingI enjoyed how we met Jett and Chuck in the beginning. Chuck had a difficult family situation. I found it interesting everything he could learn as a Uber You have five very different individuals that receive an invitation to an old New York Library.Lexa’s story was interesting in that she could remain friends with her boss after the way he treated her.Jett was a professor and tortured by the loss of his brother. He is also a writer with a very serious dilemma on his hands. It was also interestingI enjoyed how we met Jett and Chuck in the beginning. Chuck had a difficult family situation. I found it interesting everything he could learn as a Uber driver.Ed was the grandfather of the group wanting to write his love story.And finally, Coral who may have been my favorite. She was the owner of her own cosmetic company that was having trouble. She had a great balance of business sense and a relationship with her dad. I think I related to her more than the others. Her claim to infamy was that she had left her fiancé at the alter.Each of the individuals finally reveal their stories to each other. It is both heartbreaking and heart warming.Some fans of Rachel’s may be surprised at the limited Christian themes in the book. However I felt Rachel was able to make her drive her point home very well.Sexual content - wife cheats on her husbandViolence - a fist fight at a weddingI received this book from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review.You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
    more
  • Ebos Aifuobhokhan
    January 1, 1970
    Reading this book, I found a little of myself in each of the 5 major characters; Ed, Jett, Lexa, Chuck and Coral. I wish I could just live in the book. It was perfect, interesting, tear-jerking, inspiring, heart touching and a great faith builder. In the pages of this masterpiece I met Ed, Coral, Chuck, Jett and Lex. Thier story was one of the sweetest stories I have ever read. Not because it was perfect and pristine but it was real, touching and very relatable. I found bits of myself in each of Reading this book, I found a little of myself in each of the 5 major characters; Ed, Jett, Lexa, Chuck and Coral. I wish I could just live in the book. It was perfect, interesting, tear-jerking, inspiring, heart touching and a great faith builder. In the pages of this masterpiece I met Ed, Coral, Chuck, Jett and Lex. Thier story was one of the sweetest stories I have ever read. Not because it was perfect and pristine but it was real, touching and very relatable. I found bits of myself in each of the characters. They struggled with the chains of their pasts, their present and what the future would hold. There was pain, sorrow, loss, triumphs and lots of joy. They learnt to let go of the past and allow God write their story. I love how the author wove God as the master builder and story writer of our lives. Rachel Hauck's writing brings to us the joys of knowing the Truth and the freedom that comes with Him. From the literary world of a professor to the everyday commuting of an Uber driver to the recluse life of a grieving widower to cooperate world of an executive assistant and the affluent life of a heiress and almost princess, Rachel Hauck delivered a masterpiece of love, the freedom of truth, sacrifice, freedom in Christ and second chances. I'd still be floating from this book in years to come. I loved the hint of mystery in the book, it kept me reading together with the unforgettable stories. I received a copy of this book and this is my honest opinion.
    more
  • Shelley Lawrence
    January 1, 1970
    5+ starsOh my goodness, what an absolutely delightful, refreshing, insightful story that I will long remember. This story is about an invitation, relinquishing secrets from the past, and finding freedom and new life. I am bowled over at the creativity, uniqueness and beauty of this story. The Fifth Avenue Story Society reveals that we all hold hurts and secrets from our past that we carry into our present. They color our vision, dim our view of the future, and hinder us from living our best 5+ starsOh my goodness, what an absolutely delightful, refreshing, insightful story that I will long remember. This story is about an invitation, relinquishing secrets from the past, and finding freedom and new life. I am bowled over at the creativity, uniqueness and beauty of this story. The Fifth Avenue Story Society reveals that we all hold hurts and secrets from our past that we carry into our present. They color our vision, dim our view of the future, and hinder us from living our best lives. Until we find the courage and honesty with ourselves and others to face these secrets and transparently crack them wide open, we cannot experience true freedom to be who we are meant to be. This author uses her story to examine the complexities of human nature and relationships and how our past can determine our present if we allow it. The spiritual message also was insightful, creatively expressed and inspiring. The author took a unique look at the gospel message and portrayed it in an original, personal, and respectful way. This story is layered and has depths of truth. I was drawn to and moved by each individual character and their varied stories, each with their own path. It also contained numerous notable quotes that resonate truth in a piercing and memorable way. It is a story that is beautifully told, incredibly moving, and a message we all need to hear.
    more
  • Susan Snodgrass
    January 1, 1970
    'It's odd how some things have to be broken before their value and worth can be discovered.'New York. Five strangers receive a mysterious, anonymous invitation to a meeting of The Fifth Avenue Story Society. Each are familiar with the library, but have never heard of the Society. Not one of them knows where the invitation came from, either. But all five show up. And they keep coming back week after week. Chuck, Jett, Lexa, Coral and Ed all have deep hurts in their lives and none want to share 'It's odd how some things have to be broken before their value and worth can be discovered.'New York. Five strangers receive a mysterious, anonymous invitation to a meeting of The Fifth Avenue Story Society. Each are familiar with the library, but have never heard of the Society. Not one of them knows where the invitation came from, either. But all five show up. And they keep coming back week after week. Chuck, Jett, Lexa, Coral and Ed all have deep hurts in their lives and none want to share their secrets with strangers. And yet they find that they really care about each other and soon they are not strangers anymore. They really do have stories, each of them, stories waiting to be told and what blooms from each meeting of The Fifth Avenue Story Society is incredibly touching and inspiring. And deeply satisfying.Rachel Hauck has once again crafted a story that will move her readers' hearts. That shouldn't surprise me and yet we are moved anew each offering from her. Her ability to delve into her characters' hearts is amazing and she definitely hits another home room with this one. And her trademark touch of the Divine in each book just warms my heart. Well done!*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers through Net Galley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
    more
  • Patti Pierce
    January 1, 1970
    Rachel Hauck does an amazing job of creating characters and story lines with depth that pull the reader into the story. The fact that there are five main characters adds to the depths of this story. I loved how each character had their own battles they need to fight. Friendships of a lasting variety are formed and bonds are created.This book illustrates the power of God without being “preachy”. Rachel Hauck does an excellent job of showing the light of God through Cora. If asked if I had a Rachel Hauck does an amazing job of creating characters and story lines with depth that pull the reader into the story. The fact that there are five main characters adds to the depths of this story. I loved how each character had their own battles they need to fight. Friendships of a lasting variety are formed and bonds are created.This book illustrates the power of God without being “preachy”. Rachel Hauck does an excellent job of showing the light of God through Cora. If asked if I had a favorite character, I would have to say I enjoyed reading all their stories.So if you like a story about relationships, making friendships, and where God and His love is illustrated check out this book for yourself.I received a copy of this book for my fair and honest review.
    more
  • Sherry Deatrick
    January 1, 1970
    The Fifth Avenue Story SocietyRachel Hauck has hit it out of the park with this tale of five very different characters who come together under mysterious means to form the Fifth Avenue Story Society. In it, everybody has a story but the question is, how do they relate?This book is complex, fascinating and unpredictable. I loved getting to know each character and trying to guess the reason they would have been invited to join the society. Overarching the story was the supernatural element of the The Fifth Avenue Story SocietyRachel Hauck has hit it out of the park with this tale of five very different characters who come together under mysterious means to form the Fifth Avenue Story Society. In it, everybody has a story but the question is, how do they relate?This book is complex, fascinating and unpredictable. I loved getting to know each character and trying to guess the reason they would have been invited to join the society. Overarching the story was the supernatural element of the hand of God arranging their lives or ‘kismet’ as one the characters believed. It is a mystery but also a story about love and courage and finding them both. And the fact that it involved a library, books and an author made it even more compelling. As I was reading I kept hearing myself say ‘I love this story, ‘I love this story’. I already know this will be one of my favorite reads of the year. I received a complimentary copy from the NetGalley but the opinions and review are entirely my own.
    more
  • Chautona Havig
    January 1, 1970
    Have You Ever Been Drunk on a Good Book?I’m not sure what else to call the mind-numbing stupor that has taken over me in the hours after finishing this book. The only reason I’m writing the review now is that I’m afraid I’ll forget some of the things I want to say.This is only my second Rachel Hauck book, and while I really enjoyed the first, I was kind of afraid to read another. Too often first books by over-recommended authors are um… disappointing at best.I’m so grateful that this book was Have You Ever Been Drunk on a Good Book?I’m not sure what else to call the mind-numbing stupor that has taken over me in the hours after finishing this book. The only reason I’m writing the review now is that I’m afraid I’ll forget some of the things I want to say.This is only my second Rachel Hauck book, and while I really enjoyed the first, I was kind of afraid to read another. Too often first books by over-recommended authors are um… disappointing at best.I’m so grateful that this book was not that bookInstead, The Fifth Avenue Story Society is probably going to sit on the top of my favorites of 2020… maybe of all time. I haven’t related so thoroughly and so deeply with a character since I “met” Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn back when I was twelve.Except that in this book, I related to all five of the principal characters. Each of them represented a part of who I am and oddly enough, are nothing like me at the same time. I want so much to discuss and investigate those deeper insights, but I can’t. If I attempt that, I’ll be dumping spoilers all over the place. Not a good idea, you know?Instead, I’ll say that brilliant characterization, an intricate plot that never once felt convoluted or kludgy, and slow, subtle unveilings of spiritual truths combine to create a story that I know I’ll reread probably once a year. The subtlety of the spiritual content hovered on the edge of “hidden” for quite a while, but in the end, Hauck added only what readers needed for this story’s purpose. No more. Seriously brilliant.In the whole book, I have only one objection that I can recall.Those who know me will not be surprised that I was bothered by one character hearing the audible voice of God speaking to her. My understanding of Scripture doesn’t allow for that, so I mention it only because I know it is an issue for some people (like me!).Still, it wasn't used as a crutch of a plot device, so I chose to look at it as a difference of theological opinion and to move past.Look, I might read this book in six months and wonder why I raved about lit like I am (doubt that), but as of right now, today, it touched me, laid open things I needed to read and see within myself, and offered hope and healing for wounds I didn’t know I had.If that’s not a brilliant book, I don’t know what is.Recommended for lovers of solid Christian fiction that doesn’t preach but does offer spiritual insight. Furthermore, those who love excellent psychological women’s fiction without preachiness will find Rachel Hauck’s novel a welcome relief after so many offerings that only weigh down and use pretentiousness to hide bad writing.One other thing The Fifth Avenue Story Society did is to plant Rachel Hauck on my “just buy it” list of authors I don’t hesitate to purchase when I see one I don’t have. Looking at the list in the front of this book, my bank account is about to get a workout. Sure am glad I requested a free review copy of this one!
    more
  • Dawn Teresa
    January 1, 1970
    "Precious. Timeless. Capsules of life and history. But the Fifth Avenue Literary Society Library was not about closed books. It was about open lives."When we meet Jett at the opening of The Fifth Avenue Story Society, the New York literature professor is in jail. He had too much to drink at a friend’s wedding reception (he has issues with weddings which we’ll learn about) and stepped in to defend a bridesmaid from unwanted advances from a groomsman. He spends the night in jail with a man named "Precious. Timeless. Capsules of life and history. But the Fifth Avenue Literary Society Library was not about closed books. It was about open lives."When we meet Jett at the opening of The Fifth Avenue Story Society, the New York literature professor is in jail. He had too much to drink at a friend’s wedding reception (he has issues with weddings which we’ll learn about) and stepped in to defend a bridesmaid from unwanted advances from a groomsman. He spends the night in jail with a man named Chuck, who also stepped into the fight. The two don’t exactly become friends that night, but their lives again intersect when they both receive a mysterious anonymous invitation to The Fifth Avenue Story Society.At the first Society meeting, Jett and Uber/limo driver Chuck come face to face with a widower named Ed, cosmestics CEO and high-society woman Coral, and Jett’s ex-wife, Lexa who is consumed by her job and her ambition. Though no one knows why they’ve been invited or by whom, the group decides to continue meeting on Monday nights over a shared meal. The very different group of individuals share enough of their lives that they begin to have genuine relationship.Ultimately, The Fifth Avenue Story Society is a tale of community and trust. It’s about healing from past hurts by having the courage and faith to walk through the pain with honesty. The characters find and forge connections with each other but each also learns about himself/herself and finds a second chance at happiness.I enjoyed watching these people from different walks of life and different life experiences interact and begin to care about one another. The novel does a good job of showing the characters’ progressions as they learn to be vulnerable and share their difficult stories and life secrets with one another. I liked that there was a decent amount of complexity to their lives and their identities, each being uniquely believeable.One of the characters has a story of coming to faith. I appreciated that although this is a Christian novel, for the majority of the work only one of the characters really discusses faith. It took some suspension of disbelief to buy into these disparate New Yorkers being willing to keep meeting with one another, so I liked that believability wasn’t further stretched by making them all Christians. However (*spoiler warning*), by the novel’s end, all five have begun to reach out to God and advance in their own faith journeys. I found this kind of ending a bit too pat and happily-ever-after. Still, the novel was a pleasure to read and is well-suited for TV film adaptation (think Hallmark Channel).Verdict: 4 of 5 Hearts. Five Lonely New Yorkers Find Community and Hope Through Shared Personal Stories.
    more
Write a review