“Other than Kate Middleton, who marries a prince?” Susanna Truitt from Once Upon a Prince
Rachel Hauck is an author who creates novels with something for everyone. Her most recent novel, Once Upon a Prince, is a story you can share with women of every age—from teens on up to grandma. There’s much to love about this sweet romance. Here are some of the highlights:
The charming heroine: Susanna Truitt has been waiting twelve years for her boyfriend Adam to finish school, military training, and several tours of duty in Afghanistan. Yet the story begins with Adam breaking things off with her. Susanna not only loses the man she put her life on hold for, she also can’t seem to catch a break in her budding career as a landscape architect. Her way of handling life has been to plan every aspect down to the last detail. Once all her plans fall through, she is left wondering how she fits into the world and what the purpose of her life should be. Susanna shows resourcefulness and courage as she faces situations that might send others girls into depression or on a man hunt. I found her a great character to root for!
The quirky secondary characters: Susanna is surrounded by lots of folks who cherish her and want to see her succeed. Her loud, lovable family led by Glo and Gib, give her plenty of affirmation and advice.
One gem of a secondary character is Aurora, a beautiful homeless woman who once amassed a fortune lobbying DC politicians. Aurora says she used to be adept at drinking, drugging, and lying. In fact, she could “spin a lie to curl your hair.” But one day she realized “the trappings she possessed, possessed her.” When God’s still, quiet voice told her she was wasting her life, Aurora left all the worldly trappings behind to pitch a tent in the forest of St. Simon’s Island.
Aurora realizes gaining all the world has to offer won’t make up for losing her soul. For me, she symbolizes how we Christians probably look to the world when we make a point to go against the culture. And Aurora is the one who encourages Susanna to stop clinging to her manmade plans and take a risk by following God.
As Proverbs 21:10 reminds us, “We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God’s purpose prevails.”
The handsome prince: What a let down this story would be if the prince—Susanna’s catalyst for change—were not worthy of all the fuss. But no fear, Prince Nathaniel is how I’d imagine a young King David. He’s all that we would wish any king to be: upright, pure, prayerful, kind, down-to-earth, and, of course, handsome! His rich inner life gives him depth and helps us believe any young lady would be well-rewarded for changing her life for him. I really hope he shows up in future books in this series. (Hint, hint, Ms. Hauck!)
Nate lives out Psalm 21:1-2, “The king rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories you give! You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips.”
The Spiritual Takeaway: The truth I took from this novel was that sometimes God empties our hands of all we wish to cling to and sets our plans at naught on purpose. He wants us to feel our unfulfilled needs in an unmistakable way. Only then does He miraculously meet those deep needs in our hearts.
It’s not a new concept really. God has been doing this since the beginning of time. In the garden of Eden, God set Adam to naming the animals so he would realize he’d never find a suitable companion on his own. Once God made certain that Adam felt a need nothing on earth could fill, He made a miracle—and enter Eve, the perfect helpmeet.
Just so, the characters in this novel discover that no matter their power, position, or personal charm, they cannot build abundant lives apart from God. And through their stories we see God’s wise ways and tender heart.
This is the kind of book that played through my head like Hallmark movie. If you enjoy sweet films like Roman Holiday or The Student Prince, you’ll love Susanna and Nate’s story!
Follow this link to purchase your copies of Once Upon a Prince. This is definitely a story I’ll be sharing with my students. Your teen will love it, too. ***Thanks to Litfuse, Rachel Hauck, and Zondervan for providing a copy for me to review.
About the Author: Rachel Hauck is an award-winning, bestselling author of critically acclaimed novels such as RITA nominated The Wedding Dress and RITA nominated Love Starts with Elle, part of the Lowcountry series, the Nashvegas series and the Songbird Novels penned with multi-platinum recording artist, Sara Evans. A graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Journalism, she worked in the corporate software world before planting her backside in a chair to write full time in 2004.
Rachel serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy and a conference speaker. You can connect with Rachel at her website, at her Facebook page, and on Twitter.
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