In the near future, just after the death of Richard Dawkins, moves are afoot to reclassify religious fundamentalism as a form of mental illness In this climate, Dr Finlay Logan must assess the sanity of April Smith, a ninteen year old woman who has committed a religiously motivated act of mass murder Logan himself is struggling to come to terms with the death of his daughter Flora in a skydiving accident his grief is threatening to destroy his marriage, as his wife Flora s stepmother is increasingly stymied by his inability to communicate his pain Meanwhile, in the course of investigating April s condition, Logan comes across a charismatic researcher named Gabrielle Salmon, who offers both him and April the chance to undergo a procedure that, she claims, will allow them to experience direct contact with the divine The ideas in Devotion are in many wayscompelling than the characters whose actions are meant to express those ideas Logan is frustrating, selfish and self pitying, while the events that drove April to murder is at best predictable, at worst a reduction of female pain to an inevitable origin in sexual trauma I also, as someone who has spent large swathes of my time in church and found some of it profoundly moving, am uncertain about Barber s portrayal of religious faith it s not offensive, but she writes about it in a way that seems to see only three options crazed, God talks to me fundamentalism, pure atheism, and a kind of spiritual but not religious state that manifests in a vague, fuzzy feeling of one ness with all life There are many other ways of experiencing what is generally referred to as the divine, including ways that acknowledge a monotheistic God without assuming a deep personal connection with him it, and it would have been refreshing to see someacknowledgment of that it s still so rare in mainstream literary fiction Devotion is absolutely worth reading, though, even if it only goes halfway, and I m slightly surprised that it was never on the Clarke Award shortlist. When I started reading devotion, I was afraid I m not going to like it but it had a very good beginning I got very excited about it The book is perfectly written, and the idea of faith and religion vs science and reason was very interesting but in the middle of the book, things start to get messy and the storyline started to go everywhere and doesn t stick to anything.A disappointment. This is one of those books that once you read it, you never can forget it And it will change your life and your perception of the world around you.This is a story of a criminal psychologist, Finlay Logan, who is struggling with mental issues of his own due to the death of his beloved daughter The book is written slightly in the future at a time when religious fanaticism is close to being determined to be a form of mental illness Finlay must decide whether April Smith, a young woman who blew up a bus load of young atheists, is insane Helping in his endeavor is Gabrielle Salmon, a scientist who has discovered a process whereby a patient can have a direct experience with God, thereby eliminating all guilt, shame and sorrow Ms Salmon not only claims to be able to connect Finlay and his patient to God but she also tells Finlay that she is in contact with his dead daughter, Flora.This book raises so many questions about life and death and I think it gives a fascinating view of both Examined are theories of alternative universes and that words create our reality While the book is scientifically based, it is very readable and pulls you right into the story I loved these characters, yes, even Finlay although his history with women certainly wasn t the best You have to feel compassion for this very human man with all his faults There are two alternate endings to this book, which is just perfection due to the book s theme Even if you re not on a quest for spiritual enlightenment, this book is a delight just from a literary standpoint It s so beautifully written and I personally found it to be very uplifting and encouraging Highly recommended.This book was given to me by the publisher through LibraryThing in return for an honest review. I found this book intriguing and disturbing to read I hated the protagonist and the way he used women and broke up relationships for his own gain and really wanted him to suffer I found the alternative endings strange until I realised what I was reading I also found the treatment of atheist and theists strange and I wasn t entirely sure what the author thought of religion, or lack of it, by the end A good read which made me contemplate the point of religion from several view points. I loved The Marlowe Papers so was really looking forward to reading this The first 2 3rds of the book are very good but it peters out during the last third and I was disappointed with it overall A shame. Love, love, LOVE Ros Barber s writing So beautifully crafted, such a masterful wordsmith And a fascinating subject matter too. April is angry Dr Finlay Logan is broken.Only nineteen, April is an elective mute, accused of a religiously motivated atrocity Logan, a borderline suicidal criminal psychologist, must assess her sanity in a world where ten years after the death of Richard Dawkins moves have been made to classify religious fundamentalism as a form of mental illness Asking fundamental questions about the nature of reality, Barber skillfully explores the balance between the emotional and rational sides of human experience.The wonderful Oneworld Publications sent me this gorgeous looking book check them out, they have a fantastic range of books The story itself is certainly interesting, and the blurb pulled me in instantly as it was unlike anything I had read before It cleverly dances on the line between religion and faith and psychology and reasoning two arguments I find extremely interesting It plays with the ideas of destiny and chance, and how these can often shape how our lives play out.The book is split in to 6 parts, each with numerous sub chapters that relate to different parts of the story PrologueAtheists1 BiologyLeft Hole Salmon Reality Surface That Contract Lost Found Accident Lodger Trees Gone Beans Song2 PsychologyAlarm Scrambled Peace Panini Beastly Epiphany Acts Stalk Observation Static Interpretations Wisdoms Determined Noodles Compassion Professional Semi transparent3a ChemistryReflected Clinical Turkey Things Bonds Medication Without Off Frozen Floored Deer Perfume Mad Remembered Breakers3b PhysicsThrough Particular Peculiar Appreciation Presence April Meditation Revelations Headaches Ghost Alert Court AchillesEpilogueOpeningThe novel is set in the near future so pop culture references are still quite relevant to the reader , with London still in a state of fear over terrorism, but as the story plays out we realise that the fundamentalist Christians are really the ones to be fearful of We re pulled into a post Dawkins world, with many of his views and arguments being brought to the forefront of the story and challenging the reader continuously about what the real answer to life is.The story starts with Dr Finlay Logan, the novels main protagonist, and an insight to how he got to the position he is in now and also introduces the reader to how his daughter, Flora, came to be His daughter s conception was a thoughtless act Logan is a psychologist who is still struggling to come to terms with his daughters death Spoiler alert and who has been tasked with providing a witness testimony for the case of April Smith, a young woman who is connected to a religiously motivated mass murder of a bus of children chilling, I know.April is on a determined path, during her time in the asylum she resides in, to punish atheists and this is seen in her rantings and also in her scrawling on the wall of her room.We are introduced to Dr Gabrielle Salmon, a charming and warm scientist who has been working on some very interesting consciousness studies in which she describes God as being a feeling that can be induced.I won t give too muchaway as you should give it a read and find out for yourself On reaching the epilogue, I was initially confused as I felt I had read this part already, but interestingly, Ros has included the beginning of the story at the end to help round off the story and assist the reader in making sense of what has happened It s very cleverly done, and I found it brought a lot of things into perspective for me.I enjoyed this book and the various different psychological elements to it really sucked me in and left me with food for thought, that s for sure However, I did come away feeling like the novel overall wasn t as enlightening as I thought it might be, it actually left me feeling a little disheartened at the thought of a near future world that we could find ourselves in for this reason, my review rating might be seen as a little unfair, I understand There were some really fantastic points in the book, but for me I feel it could have pushed itself just a little further to have been a really incredible story.That being said, I still enjoyed reading it, and would certainly recommend it if you re after something a littlethought provoking on your commute to work. A fantastic bookIF you have an open mind and love for psychology. The New Novel From The Award Winning Author Of The Marlowe PapersApril Is Angry Dr Finlay Logan Is BrokenOnly Nineteen, April Is An Elective Mute, Accused Of A Religiously Motivated Atrocity Logan, A Borderline Suicidal Criminal Psychologist, Must Assess Her Sanity In A World Where Ten Years After The Death Of Richard Dawkins Moves Have Been Made To Classify Religious Fundamentalism As A Form Of Mental Illness Asking Fundamental Questions About The Nature Of Reality, Barber Skillfully Explores The Balance Between The Emotional And Rational Sides Of Human ExperienceTold In Ros Barber S Trademark Mesmerizing Prose, Devotion Is An Extraordinary, Provocative Novel From One Of The Brightest Rising Stars In Fiction Bessacarr Readers Group Intriguing, thought provoking, engaging, complicated and skilfully written A novel which explores the effects of grief, especially its effects on the mind It also questions ideas about love, death and the existence of God The writing is at times vivid and poetic, describing things with such precision It looks at how destiny and chance determines the course of our life, through the paranoia and confusion going through Logan s mind after the untimely death of his daughter, Flora, in a sky diving accident Dr Finlay Logan, a criminal psychologist, is struggling to come to terms with his loss and feels his grief is driving him mad There are similarities between Logan s private life and his work where he is working with April, a young religious fanatic who has blown up a bus murdering 15 of her fellow students, members of an atheist society Logan believes that the new discovery by Dr Salmon, a scientist specialising in consciousness studies could help both April and himself to gain inner spiritual peace The novel explores the ideas of a parallel universe, hence the two possible endings and even the last chapter suggests other possible paths It is too complex a novel to write briefly about, you need to read it carefully to understand the ideas conveyed by the author, who at times plays Devil s Advocate If it is your type of novel, you will find it interesting and engrossing and it will be challenging and will reinforce your own thinking A psychological novel that explores the power of language even in its title Devotion The book produced a lively and interesting debate at the Bessacarr Readers Group with most people finding it a good, if disturbing read and awarded marks between 7 and 10, with most at the upper end One member gave it 5.Mary Wood 8 10 This nook was a fascinating, if difficult read and some of the concepts were For me, difficult to understand On the whole I felt sad about the life that April had experienced, first with her dysfunctional mother and then at the hands of a group of boys who had raped her However, the fact that she killed several young people who were involved in this was inexcusable The main character, Finlay, is seriously damaged by grief over his daughter s death and whilst reporting on April comes across a fellow professional who might have the answer for both of them Interesting, engrossing, but a little depressing.Brenda Marsden 7 10 The plot Suicidal psychologist preparing defence case for 19 year old bomber.A very believable insight into mental illness Showing how the brain copes with unpalatable events it can t or will not make sense of I was hooked right from the beginning with the extract from April s journal, with very descriptive language Logan has various problems with relationships and he s able to explain these from a professional point of view, but it takes the intervention by Dr Salmon when he is at the height of paranoia to bring peace is it a belief in God His relationship with his daughter was not as amiable as he leads you to believe April has had an unfortunate childhood, when she is gand raped and becomes an elective mute I felt extremely sorry for her, even after the terrible bus bombing I was interested in religion being classified as a mental illness and a little disturbing as I am a believer I will definitely read another book by this author Deb Mullins 10 10 The book cover didn t entice me, nor the synopsis on the inside cover The subject was disturbing and bordering on fantasy It certainly wasn t a pleasant read, dealing with death, suicidal tendencies, murder, rape etc etc I thought that Jules was the one sane person until she decided to have an affair with a locum doctor The story explored life after death, the existence of God, ways of coping with loss and coming to terms with what life deals out It was not the sort of book I like to read but it did have some interesting bits I wouldn t read another book by this author and though it was well written , the subject didn t really interest me.Linda Birkinshaw 5 10
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Devotion book, this is one of the most wanted Ros Barber author readers around the world.
- 288 pages
- Ros Barber
- 03 March 2018 Ros Barber