A spellbinding confession of what it means to abandon one life for another, The Devoted asks what it takes, and what you’ll sacrifice, to find enlightenment.
Nicole Hennessy’s life revolves around her Zen practice at the Boston Zendo, seeking solace in the tenets of Buddhism to the chagrin of her Irish Catholic family. After a decade of grueling spiritual practice under her Master’s tutelage, living on a shoestring budget as a shop clerk, Nicole has become dangerously entangled with her mentor. As Nicole confronts her past—a drug-fueled year spent fleeing her family’s loaded silences and guilt-laden "Our Fathers"—and reinvents herself in New York City, her Master’s intoxicating voice pursues her, an electrifying whisper on the other end of the phone. Somehow, he knows everything.
In deft, soaring prose that bristles with psychological and erotic tension, Blair Hurley crafts a thrilling exploration of Nicole’s ecstatic quest for spirituality.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Like a late-‘80s Madonna album, Blair Hurley’s remarkable debut unfolds in the place where sex, love, and faith intersect. A troubled young woman breaks from her deeply conservative Catholic family to seek serenity in a Buddhist zendo. Instead, she dives into a demanding, obsessive relationship with her teacher. Hurley is genuinely interested in her heroine’s spiritual exploration, handling philosophical and real-world issues of Zen and Catholicism with sensitive insight. And to top it off, she’s written a gripping psychological novel that’s full of terse, biting dialogue.