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 Bottom Line: I generally like Rachel Hauck’s offerings, but I especially liked this book. In this instance, Hauck brought together, in a most mysterious way, five broken souls looking for a way back to happiness. For Lexa and Jett, it’s a matter of both personal and professional issues, for Coral it is predominately professional, and for Ed and Chuck, it is most definitely personal. All five members of the previously unknown Fifth Avenue Story Society have no idea why they have been brought together or by whom, but they know they need one another. As the weeks go by, each member of the Society becomes a bit more comfortable with the others and more willing to open up and share their respective stories. Each meeting offers each member a bit more confidence and courage to go into their next week and continue to face the issues that are plaguing their lives and keeping them from true happiness. Outside of one thing – the true identity of Gilda – I enjoyed every aspect of this read. I am always going to be a sucker for broken souls coming together and overcoming their issues. Hauck really delivers with this book and of all the books of her’s I’ve read, this one stands as my absolute favorite and it’s going to a truly special book to knock this one from the top spot.