cover image The Fifth Avenue Story Society

The Fifth Avenue Story Society

Rachel Hauck. Thomas Nelson, $15.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-31-035092-7

Hauck (The Memory House) intertwines the stories of five New Yorkers who each receive a mysterious invitation to join a “story society” in this exhilarating inspirational. Lexa is a young, now-single businesswoman fighting for the title of CEO at a gourmet burger chain. Brooding professor Jett can’t get over the loss of his wife and brother, hates his parents, and can’t finish his dissertation. Aging Ed wants to write a memoir of his love story with recently deceased wife. Beautiful Coral’s cosmetic company is losing money on the product she worked so hard on, and Chuck, whose ex-wife has custody of their daughter and son, just wants the chance to see his kids again. Though they’re all confused about why they’ve been brought together, the group soon grows to depend on their Monday night meetings, during which they try to figure out who sent them the mysterious invite and also slowly rewrite the stories of their broken lives. While the plotting is straightforward—each character always knows (and has the means) to help one of the others out— Hauck inspires and uplifts with this mix of tales. Readers who enjoy Karen Kingsbury will love this. (Feb.)