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BLOG TOUR: The Art of Devotion by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin (Book Review 2010-93)

Product Description

In the tradition of bestselling authors Ian McEwan and Anne Enright, Samantha Bruce-Benjamin's brilliant and timeless debut unveils the dark side of human nature as four women share the poignant tale of love, obsession, and ultimate betrayal that binds them forever.
Have we all not wished to keep forever the one person we love the most?

The secluded beaches of a sun-drenched Mediterranean island are the perfect playground for young Sebastian and Adora. Emotionally adrift from their mother, Adora shelters her sensitive older brother from the cruelties of the world. Sophie does not question her children's intense need for one another until it's too late. Her beloved son's affections belong to Adora, and when he drowns in the sea, she has no one else to blame.

Still heartbroken years later, Adora fills her emptiness with Genevieve, the precocious young daughter of her husband's business associate and his jealous wife, Miranda. Thrilled to be invited into the beautiful and enigmatic Adora's world, the child idolizes her during their summers together. Yet, as the years progress, Genevieve begins to suspect their charmed existence is nothing more than a carefully crafted illusion. Soon, she too is ensnared in a web of lies.

Stunningly told in the tragic voices of four women whose lives are fatefully entangled, The Art of Devotion is evocative and haunting, a story of deceit, jealousy, and the heartbreaking reality of love's true power.

About the Author

Samantha Bruce-Benjamin was born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, where she earned a Masters Degree in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh.  A former BBC Editor, she began her editorial career at Random House.  She now lives in New York.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery; Original edition (June 8, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439153949
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439153949


This is a book of secrets.  It is told from the view point of four intertwined characters:  
Sophie -- Adora's mother
Adora  -- the main voice
Miranda -- Adora's friend -- maybe rival, more frienemy
Genevieve -- Miranda's daughter

It really reminded me a lot of a Jodi Picoult story in how it unfolds and the unique take on each situation by the characters.  Each one of them has a secret and they are all related.  I really found it fascinating how the book unfolds.  This really isn't really historical fiction although it does mostly take place during the 1940's.  I really felt as though I was reading the private diaries of these characters.  I really recommend this one and wish I could described it better.  It is just one of those books that stays with you since it is so beautifully written and anything I write about it just fails to describe it.  

Please ask the author a question by posting it here, she may stop by and answer it!

The Art of Devotion: Tuesday, June 8th --BLOG TOUR STOPS
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  1. Mary! How wonderful to read your very kind review. I am so profoundly touched that readers such as you are enjoying what I've written: after all, when you write, you always write for those imaginary readers in your imagination - so how brilliant to meet one of you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my book, I so appreciate it. I'll check back in throughout the day to answer any questions you might have. Very best wishes and thank you! Samantha

  2. Sounds great! Do you make an outline before you write the story.

  3. Hmm...good question. I have done in the past, but not for this book. I keep everything in my head: I don't actually like working with synopsis: I find them too limiting. So, if I ever do use them, they are like a template - I wander off in my imagination a lot! I hope this answers your question and thanks!

  4. Samantha:
    This is such a charater driven story. I was just amazed at how you created such a human face for each character. I had a love/hate relationship with Adora. That was the "wow" factor for me with this story. Did Adora tell you were she wanted to go or did you direct her?

  5. Thanks for your question. Adora really was a surprise to me: she definitely directed me, not the other way around. I just find myself still fascinated by her, even though I created her, if that makes sense at all to you! She proves the most compelling to me because I still struggle to make sense of her. Thanks!

  6. Thank you Samantha.
    I have two more:
    You mention Adora and Sebastian adopting stray dogs several times in the book and specifically one dachshund. Are dachshunds special to you?

    Is the island based on a real place? I kept guessing the location and would love to visit it. Your descriptions were so detailed that I wanted to be there right now.

  7. I do have a dachshund: his name is Geordie Beau and he IS in the book! In fact, all of the dogs, are our dogs - past and present - so they have very special significance. Yes, the island is based on a real place where I spent all of my summers growing up. Thanks!

  8. Sounds like a very captivating book. And I think the setting sounds great too--the Mediterranean area! Thanks for the info.

  9. Cool site, I had not come across previously during my searches!
    Continue the great work!


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