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The Devoted

by Blair Hurley

The Devoted by Blair Hurley X
The Devoted by Blair Hurley
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2018
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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  • Maggie Rotter


    The Devoted - A Real Woman
    Lately I've been reading books about Muslim families - often multi-generational - facing inner and outward challenges. I've been thinking, why is there a dearth of such novels where the characters' Christian upbringing and family conflicts are so well drawn and compelling? Well, here is one, with the twist that the central character is struggling to preserve and enrich her practice as a Buddhist raised as a Catholic but devoted to this new belief. Painful challenges come not only from her family but also from the master to whom she has become attached. Nicole is a complex, engaging woman who navigates her life in the best way she can. I rooted for her as a young woman on the road and as she grew to an increasingly aware master of herself.
  • Elizabeth K. (DALLAS, TX)


    Finding one's path in life
    I really loved this book. It is not so much about Buddhism as it is about the pull of addictive relationships that can keep us from moving forward, especially when emotional needs are not met within the family. Once I started reading it was hard to put down, and the non-linear manner in which the story is told added to the intrigue.
  • Nancy L. (Staunton, VA)


    The Journey
    In "The Devoted" by Blair Hurley, the main character, Nicole, is on a difficult journey. Although she takes us along on the physical journey from Boston to Colorado and then on to New York City, the real journey for Nicole is the struggle to find her way out of an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship. We watch her being drawn to the mysticism of Buddhism while breaking ties with the Catholicism of her Boston family. The journey is not narrated chronologically, but dips back and forth in time to reveal Nicole's path, as well as revealing how she got to her present difficulties. What is especially difficult for her is that her abuser is also her "roshi" or Buddhist Master. I was particularly struck by the parallels drawn between Catholic priest abusers and Nicole's controlling Master. This novel is full of beautifully poetic koans and is so well written that it captured me from the very beginning.
  • Patricia E. (Sugarcreek, OH)


    An Unhealthy Devotion
    This debut novel by Blair Hurley is beautifully written. I enjoyed the pacing—relaxed but not stagnate, timing reminiscent of the discipline she describes in her book. Main character Nicole has been studying Zen Buddhism for more than a decade. As her relationships with both her religion and her master (teacher) become more complicated, Nicole questions both. Looking back at her teenage years, she sees that religion has always enslaved her, whether it is the Catholicism of her mother, the Buddhist escape she seeks as a teen, or the twisted devotion she practices as an adult. But for me this is more than a story of Nicole's addictions." It is also about the control that any religious belief or cleric can have over anyone who becomes as mindlessly "devoted" as Nicole does. I recommend this book for readers with open minds and an unwillingness to check their brains at the doors of any house of worship.
  • Becky S. (Springfield, MO)


    Finding oneself
    This book was about the journey of a teenage, Nicole, towards enlightenment . She, like so many of us in our teenage years, finds herself searching for something other than the familiar that she has grown up with. Her family and the Catholicism that she grew up with are both lacking in what she feels she needs for fulfillment. Enter a rebellious boyfriend, Jules, with some wild ideas of his own, and their mutual friend , Eddie, a quest to find the Karmapa and Nicole is on a runaway.. looking for that something to bring her understanding. Years later, she is still in search of that inner peace when she meets up with the Master, her Buddhist teacher.. the whole while she is searching for something more, her family is searching for ways to make her see where she really fits in, with them. I liked the way the author unfolded this story, flashbacks and forwards, real character development, and a believable but not predictable plot.
  • Jennie R. (Highland, CA)


    No promises...
    I can't promise my review isn't skewed by the fact I'm a Buddhist. At first, I thought this may have been the main reason I enjoyed this book so much, in spite of finding the main character, Nicole, a bit unbelievable at times; too many conflicted traits for one character! Even so, I rooted for her to get away from "The Master", an abusive and despicable womanizer who called himself a Zen Teacher. I'd like to give this book a 3.5, but as it's not an option, I'll err on the generous side as I read it faster than I read most books just to find out what happened in the end!
  • Rayna T. (Sacramento, CA)


    The Devoted
    I enjoyed reading this book. I think most people have a quest for a spirituality in their life which seems to be in this book. I know I do. I am always glad to find a new author as I read all the time and look forward to reading more by her.

    Whenever I read a new book I always go to the library to see if they have other books by the same author. I hope so.
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