Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Art of Devotion - Samantha Bruce-Benjamin

The Art of Devotion is the debut novel of Ms. Bruce-Benjamin. The reader is introduced to Sophie and her children Adora and Sebastian. Their story spans across two decades and is filled with secrets, lies, betrayal and deceit.

The book is narrated in alternating voices: Sophie, Adora, Miranda (Genevieve's mother) and Genevieve. It begins with Genevieve's wedding preparations, the year is 1940. The reader is then transported back in time through a series of flashbacks that reveal the history of Sophie and her children; Adora and her charming husband, Oliver; and his lawyer and best friend James and his wife Miranda.

Oliver and Adora were the power "it" couple back in the day. They threw extravagant parties and everyone wanted to be included in their world. Their lives appeared to be abundant and perfect, however when the truth was revealed, all that remained were unhealed wounds, a trail of lies and a undeniable devotion between a brother and sister.

For me, The Art of Devotion was like watching a documentary of characters telling their perspectives about a family tragedy. At first glance, Adora seems to be controlling and self-centered. As she shares more of herself through her journal entries to Sebastian, she transforms into a broken and bruised woman who is not happy with the path her life is on.

Initially, I was drawn to Miranda. I quickly pitied her and felt Adora took advantage of her at every turn and Miranda had no choice but to accept it. By the end of the novel, my feelings for Miranda changed as I realized she was not the helpless victim, but in fact was more manipulative than Adora.

The Art of Devotion is a dark book about the extremes people will go for the love of another, a sense of belonging and the fear of losing it all. It shows how lies, deceit and secrets can tear a family apart and turn family members into complete strangers. The Art of Devotion would make a good book selection as it would spark conversation centered around family dynamics, loss, and how death can impact a familial structure. A reader's guide and discussion questions are included.

Please note: Samantha Bruce-Benjamin will stop by to answer any questions or respond to your comments.

Book details:
ISBN-13: 978-1-4391-5394-9
Pages: 378
Year Published: 2010
Genre: Fiction
Format: Trade Paperback
Source: Publisher

The book was sent to me from the publisher for the author's blog tour. It has not influenced my review in any way.

Other blogs participating in this blog tour:

http://www.bookwormygirl.blogspot.com/
http://thebooktree.blogspot.com/
http://maryinhb.blogspot.com/
http://armsofasister.com/
http://booktumbling.com/
http://detweilermom.blogspot.com/
http://literarilyspeaking1.blogspot.com
http://busyjulieblog.blogspot.com/
http://thestuffyouneedtoknow.blogspot.com/
http://www.teresasreadingcorner.blogspot.com/
http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/
http://frugalplus.com/
http://www.tarmyblogspot.blogspot.com/
http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com/
http://www.eclecticbooklover.com
http://notquitesusiehomemaker.blogspot.com/
http://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com/
http://bookswithcoffee.wordpress.com/
http://www.jewelknits.blogspot.com/
http://thegirlfromtheghetto.wordpress.com/
http://justanothernewblog.blogspot.com/
http://simplystacie.net/
http://mustreadfaster.blogspot.com/
http://booksiesblog.blogspot.com/
http://reminderlist.blogspot.com/
http://www.tableforseven-julie.blogspot.com/
http://my-book-views.blogspot.com/
http://www.amusingreviews.blogspot.com/
http://thisbookforfree.com/
www.chickwithbooks.blogspot.com
http://takingtimeformommy.blogspot.com/
http://www.luckyrosiescreations.blogspot.com/
http://juniperrbreeeze.blogspot.com/
http://myfoolishwisdom.blogspot.com/
http://www.jeannesramblings.com
http://bridget3420.blogspot.com/
www.bellasnovella.com
http://cuzinlogic.wordpress.com/
http://www.rundpinne.com

5 comments:

  1. I was able to attend a panel that Ms. Bruce-Benjamin moderated while I was in New York - she is so smart and beautiful and I love her accent. I'm glad to see her book is so good!

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  2. Bermudaonion! Thank you so much for being so kind. I am thrilled you attended the panel and that you enjoyed it - I was so nervous! I hope you enjoy the book! Very best wishes, Samantha

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  3. Dear Shon, So fascinated to read your take on the book and so appreciative that you took the time to read it! I can't wait to answer any questions - this is turning out to be a wonderful on-sale date, precisely because of readers like you who are so honest and generous. I can't thank you enough. Very best wishes, Samantha

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  4. As one of the tour stops for this book, I am totally enjoying the reviews I've read so far - they really make me feel as though I have something to look forward to. Unfortunately, I only received the book 3-4 days ago, and have not been able to begin it yet. I'm working on finishing one other book and this is next on my list!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

    P.S. I'll post my review link up on Book Blogs when it's completed

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