Once Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck
Susanna Truitt has a plan- marry her Marine boyfriend of 12 years. But, when Adam breaks up with her instead of proposing, Susanna’s plan crumbles around her. Without a plan, what can she expect for her future?
Prince Nathaniel’s life has been set in place since before he was born. But, when he meets Susanna under the Lover’s Oak one day, his heart wants to take him in a different direction. Will he follow in the steps of his ancestors, or forge a new path?
With a premise of an ordinary girl falling in love with a prince, it is easy to see how this story might feel a bit contrived or impossible. However, that is not the case. This novel was a pleasant read that was down-to-earth and felt very real. The issues the characters faced were complicated and relevant.
Susanna is a planner; she has her whole life planned out exactly how she wants things to go. But, plans don’t always work. One by one, things in her life get taken away from her as God teaches her a lesson that she desperately needs to learn. Through it all, Susanna was strong and had faith in God to show her what his plan for her was. She had to learn how to surrender her life to God’s will.
Nathaniel had the opposite problem. His life was planned out for him and there is no way out. He wishes that he could be free and do whatever he wished with his life, but he is the Crown Prince. He has responsibilities to uphold and is bound by duty. He just has a hard time seeing it as God’s plan for his life when the plan was set in place by man, by his ancestors.
Watching these characters grow throughout the novel was interesting and insightful. They faced difficult struggles, but they also were rooted in God, which balanced Susanna and Nathaniel as characters. I also found that each character was given enough background in order to be interesting, but not so much that it bogged down the flow of the book. In addition, I also enjoyed their interaction with one another.
Not only did I love the main characters, but I also really enjoyed the secondary characters. All of the characters were well-rounded and had so much heart. In particular, I thought Aurora, Avery, and Gracie were special.
This story is infused with warmth and authenticity. The characters were real and genuine, and you could feel their hearts as they learned to surrender to God’s plan for their lives. At the heart of this story is the theme to let go of control and let God lead your life.
This is one of those rare, wonderful books that you don’t ever want to end. It will be in my heart for a long time. This book makes you feel warm, happy, and content. How wonderful!
Rating: 5 stars
In a world full of books and the difficulty of making the right choices on what to read, this book is a gem. This book caught me by surprise in the best way. I loved it from beginning to end. It is one not to miss.
I will leave you with the lovely Note from the Author:
“Finding Lover’s Oak during my research was a bit of serendipity- a piece of the Gospel message hidden amid the story. Jesus is the Tree of Life, the “Lover’s Oak” of our hearts. The Cross is often called “the tree”. It was on a tree that Jesus died for love. For you and me. If we have Jesus, we don’t need a Lover’s Oak in Brunswick, Georgia. We have unending love in our hearts. We have the Tree of Life. Reach out for him.”