Customer Reviews for

The Art of Devotion

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2010

    I stayed awake to finish it!

    I love this book. I couldn't put it down. I'm biased as I love period novels. The writing is smart and beautiful, almost lyrical. It definitely reminds me of Ian McEwan's Atonement. It's set between 1919-38. I really like how the narrative is told between the women in the novel, telling their story from each perspective. The novel is built on the characters and their psyche, which are all interesting and complex. Most of them aren't what they seem. Everyone seems to be hiding something. A particular woman, Adora, is the most disturbing one of all. She's hiding something terrible from her past, and the way it is written makes the reader want more because only small hints are revealed throughout the book of what happened. Figuring out her past, will lead to figuring out what's going to happen next. Just when I thought I had it all solved, I was wrong. Betrayal, deceit, secrets slowly revealed themselves and I stayed up all night to finish it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 24, 2010

    Interesting but long and wordy

    The Art of Devotion
    September 5 2010
    Samantha Bruce Benjamin
    Definitely have mixed feelings about this book. There were parts where it was quite confusing about what time period we reading about. There was a lot of fantasy in that no one lives the way these people seemed to unless they were quite rich and they didn't seem to know what was going on in the rest of the world at this time period. I did enjoy figuring out how all of the people in the book fit together. Parts of the book I didn't figure out until the end. So it did make me read the whole book so I knew what was happening.

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  • Posted August 9, 2010

    The dark side of love

    "Samantha Bruce-Benjamin 's novel "The Art of Devotion" could also be titled "The Art of Deception", for in it, devotion is not so much an art as an obsession. There are many kinds of love and what may appear beautiful on the surface may have a dark underside. The author alternately uses the voices of four women whose lives are entwined to tell this complex story of love and devotion, lies and obsession, happiness and despair. At the heart of the story is beautiful Adora 's relationships with the people she loves - her brother Sebastian, her husband Oliver and her godchild Genevieve. As the story unfolds, the secrets that lie beneath these and other relationships reveal that love is not always gentle, not always kind, not always loving."

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  • Posted July 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Haunting Story Spanning Three Generations of Women...

    The Art of Devotion by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin is haunting... The prose is beautifully rendered on the page, like a love letter written to the reader... The women who fill the pages of The Art of Devotion struggle for your empathy as each reveals their hidden fears, betrayals, hopes and obsessions... and by the end of the story, their story, we are swept up into their lives.

    The novel itself is unique in that the story is told from four points of view. Sophie, Adora, Miranda and Genev...more The Art of Devotion by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin is haunting... The prose is beautifully rendered on the page, like a love letter written to the reader... The women who fill the pages of The Art of Devotion struggle for your empathy as each reveals their hidden fears, betrayals, hopes and obsessions... and by the end of the story, their story, we are swept up into their lives.

    The novel itself is unique in that the story is told from four points of view. Sophie, Adora, Miranda and Genevieve are the three generations of women that tell their story, unfolding it by alternating passages, almost like pages in a diary. At first I thought that having the four alternating narrators was just to establish the beginning of the story and the voices of the different women, but as the story continued that way, I found it an interesting way to read a story. Instead of having to guess the motivations of one of the other women involved in a particular circumstance, I was able to peek into their thoughts soon enough when it was their turn to "speak". The characters are fleshed out and well developed, and the empathy you will start to feel for them individually is the result of their lives coming to life on the page. Samantha Bruce-Benjamin does a wonderful job creating such strong believable women. And their lives are so entangled with one another too! There is more than one twist and turn to their stories. Secret liaisons and relationships are slowly revealed over the course of the novel, along with betrayals, that will having you devouring the pages for more!

    The setting for the novel is the beautiful Mediterranean, and the story has that carefree feeling to it. We are allowed to enjoy the women and not be concerned with the mundane of day-to-day living. The interactions between Sophie, Adora, Miranda and Genevieve are steeped in deep emotion, spanning 20 years of their lives, from young girls (in the case of Adora, Miranda and eventually Genevieve) to mature women, and the results are haunting. Even after finishing the book I am still thinking about those women and the choices they made. Not to give too much away, but the prologue meant so much more to me after I finished the book, and I would recommend going back and reading it again after you finish too!

    I would definitely recommend The Art of Devotion by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin! For it's beautiful writing, memorable characters and its intriguing story. And those 4 women were so interesting to get to know!

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  • Posted June 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Compelling Story

    On a sun-kissed island, two beautiful children play in the waves. Sebastian and Adora are not twins, although many mistake these children with their golden curls and piercing blue eyes for twins. Brother and sister who are two years apart, they are fiercely devoted to each other and need no one else. Even their mother Sophie feels excluded, although she knows she should not be jealous of their closeness.

    The book then moves to thirty years in the future and follows the relationships of this family, and another that they are intertwined with. Adora has married Oliver. They have no children of their own, but she has emotionally stolen Genevieve, the daughter of her husband's best friends, James and Miranda. Genevieve spends every summer with Adora and is now entering adulthood. She meets Jack, and her love for Adora is changed as she finds first love with him.

    Samantha Bruce Benjamin explores the many facets of devotion. There is devotion between siblings, between mother and daughter, between lovers, between friends and between adults and the children they foster. Not all devotion is positive, and Benjamin explores the dark side of this emotion also. The book is told through the voices of the women involved, moving back and forth from one to the other. As each speaks of the summer that exists, and the years leading up to the events of that summer, the reader is taken on a road of discovery, as each event is told from multiple views and secrets and betrayals are revealed.

    This book is recommended for all readers. It is compelling. The writing is lyrical and what seems a gentle book constantly surprises as the plot twists are revealed. The author has created one of the most memorable villians I've found, or have the motives of the villian been misinterpreted? Readers of The Art Of Devotion will be thinking about what happened long after they close the covers of this book.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    The most beautiful and unique book!

    The best book I have ever read, Samantha Bruce-Benjamin's writing is so unique and beautiful that you simply cannot compare it to any other author in any way. You become lost in the story and I simply could not put the book down. The setting being the Mediterranean, the beautiful characters, all of which are very individual but touch you in different ways, and the story itself transfixes you in a world away from your own, but in a world that is so believable, as at some point in our lives we have all loved, lost, been lied to, felt happiness, experienced disappointment and we've all adored that special someone. A must-read!

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

    Haunting and beautiful. A new Atonement.

    I LOVED this book. If you like period books like Rebecca and The Great Gatsby, you should definitely buy this. The writing is beautiful, very lyrical, and I loved how it was told by four different narrators who are all hiding secrets, so you're never sure who to trust. Just when you think you have it figured out, you don't. As soon as I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I gave it to my friend once I'd finished and the exact same thing happened. The characters don't leave you. Long after the book is finished, they stay with you and you can't say that about many books. I would read this again, it was so good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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