Samantha Bruce-Benjamin

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Samantha Bruce-Benjamin

Goodreads Author


Born
Edinburgh, The United Kingdom
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Member Since
July 2010


Samantha Bruce-Benjamin is the author of The Art of Devotion, an Examiner and Bookreporter Best Book of 2010. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, she holds a Master of Arts with Honors in English Literature from The University of Edinburgh. A former Random House and BBC literary editor, she divides her time between New York and Edinburgh, where she is currently reading for a PhD in Creative Writing at The University of Edinburgh.

Popular Answered Questions

Samantha Bruce-Benjamin Thank you Mallory, this is a great question!

When I write, I am always governed by a quote from Anais Nin: "We don't see people as they are, we see…more
Thank you Mallory, this is a great question!

When I write, I am always governed by a quote from Anais Nin: "We don't see people as they are, we see them as we are." I think it is a very powerful insight into human psychology. For me in my novels, everything is about perception and what interests me most are not the things being said, but why they are being said; the interior lives of the characters.
To this end, I am particularly drawn to the duality between their public and private faces, mostly because I am fascinated to see how their - often, morally ambiguous - actions are perceived by readers. Many of my central characters are divisive in terms of the emotions they elicit, which is entirely deliberate. I seek to present all of my characters 'in the round,' to present every facet of their personality as far as it can be known, offset by their actions, so that the reader can determine - without authorial interference - their intent and judge them accordingly. This is actually part of the pleasure of creating these characters for me: as they are so complex, they challenge me as much as the reader, so I feel a shared kinship with my audience in wrestling with their moral dilemmas. (less)
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin Hi Mary! Yes, indeed. The Sarah and Gerald cited in the novel are the Murphys, who, as you know, provided the inspiration for the characters of Dick…moreHi Mary! Yes, indeed. The Sarah and Gerald cited in the novel are the Murphys, who, as you know, provided the inspiration for the characters of Dick and Nicole Diver in Tender Is The Night. The Murphys lived in a fabled Hamptons mansion, set on over six hundred acres, called The Dunes, and were a core element of the Hamptons society in which Serena Lyons lived.

In fact, the vast majority of names mentioned in the party scenes and applied to certain characters - The Wiborgs, Halseys, Cooks, Astors, Adams, etc - were culled from the research I undertook into the Hamptons of that era, including Serena Lyons herself. The house that inspired the book was used in the 1930s by one Mrs. Edward Lyon (as you also know, Serena is married to Captain Edward Lyons), to host a Friday gathering called The Leisure Hour Supper Club. By citing real people, I wanted to convey an air of authenticity to the story, so that the reader truly feels as if they are attending a party in the Hamptons on the evening of September 21st, 1938. (less)
Average rating: 3.63 · 523 ratings · 141 reviews · 4 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Art of Devotion

3.55 avg rating — 213 ratings — published 2010 — 4 editions
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The Westhampton Leisure Hou...

3.79 avg rating — 34 ratings — published 2015 — 2 editions
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The Westhampton Leisure Hou...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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The Englishman's Daughter: ...

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3.79 avg rating — 546 ratings — published 2001 — 10 editions
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* Note: these are all the books on Goodreads for this author. To add more, click here.

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The Art of Devotion (Literature & Fiction)
1 chapters   —   updated Jul 11, 2010 12:36PM
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.
Three Junes
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by Julia Glass (Goodreads Author)
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The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin
"This is a book I received free from Jocelyn Kelley of Kelley& Hall book publicity for my honest review. I was not compensated in any way for my review. From the moment I picked this book up to read, I did not want to put it down. For one thing..." Read more of this review »
The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin
“I have lived the life I longed for in my heart. And it is beautiful there.”
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin
The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin
“Meet me on the road that leads to the sea and I'll wait for you and you'll wait for me.”
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin
The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin
" Thank you so much, Dana! That is one of my favorite lines in the novels too. I am so pleased it struck a chord with you and that you enjoyed the book. ...more "
The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin
"If I could give The WestHampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club more stars I would. I adored this book! Such a beautiful story. A must read! Thank you GoodReads for my copy. "Meet me on the road that leads to the sea. And I'll wait for you and you'll..." Read more of this review »
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The Dust That Falls from Dreams by Louis de Bernières
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The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin
" And I love readers like you, Mary! Thanks so much for your support! "
More of Samantha's books…
“It is a dull sensation, your heart breaking, like the sound of a pebble dropping on the sand. Not a shattering, not a tearing apart, there is nothing shrill or grandiose about the sensation. It is merely an internal realization that something treasured you never knew you had is leaving forever.”
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Art of Devotion

“I have lived the life I longed for in my heart. And it is beautiful there.”
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club

“Sometimes we are written down in books. Or, someone tells a story in which our name figures. And so we live on, through someone else’s voice…
These are the indelible marks others make of us, like the watermarks of high tides, names carved into barks, or stamps branded onto belongings. For what else is history but the collected voices of others, who sing a chorus of what once was. It is not words but voices that are the inscriptions seared onto pages, into minds, of the fragments others glean, as we live our lives in passing.
Flitting and fl eeting, we rub off as we move through, and in our wake is cast the dust of the stars that we become. And sometimes it is caught on the fingers of others, and they press that gold to their lips, where it glistens, an eternal testimony to the fact that they adored us: So we, those of us who
remember, we grow more golden as we age, as if cast into statues that commemorate the splendor of those who loved us, and those we were privileged
to love.”
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club

Topics Mentioning This Author

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“The dead are the stars by which we navigate.”
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club

“We are only as good as we are remembered.”
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club

“Sometimes we are written down in books. Or, someone tells a story in which our name figures. And so we live on, through someone else’s voice…
These are the indelible marks others make of us, like the watermarks of high tides, names carved into barks, or stamps branded onto belongings. For what else is history but the collected voices of others, who sing a chorus of what once was. It is not words but voices that are the inscriptions seared onto pages, into minds, of the fragments others glean, as we live our lives in passing.
Flitting and fl eeting, we rub off as we move through, and in our wake is cast the dust of the stars that we become. And sometimes it is caught on the fingers of others, and they press that gold to their lips, where it glistens, an eternal testimony to the fact that they adored us: So we, those of us who
remember, we grow more golden as we age, as if cast into statues that commemorate the splendor of those who loved us, and those we were privileged
to love.”
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club

“There it was, happiness in a backward glance: happiness and the certainty of hope.”
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club

“Meet me on the road that leads to the sea and I'll wait for you and you'll wait for me.”
Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, The Westhampton Leisure Hour and Supper Club

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Do you read more than one book at a time? Do you have stacks of books to be read on your table? Keep buying more books when you have books you haven't ...more
35979 Q&A with Samantha Bruce-Benjamin — 9 members — last activity Aug 24, 2010 09:48AM
...July 20, 2010 to August 19, 2010...
2996 Chicks On Lit — 4813 members — last activity 17 minutes ago
(Est. Feb 14, 2008) More than a reading group of women but a place for honest, respectful, intelligent conversations led by adult women. Discussions a ...more
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This is the place to discuss the creation and promotion of your "book videos" and "author web sites."
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ALL GENRE COMMUNITY OF BOOK LOVERS-Perfect for those interested in good books of any genre, film and lively discussion!-(300 PLUS DISCUSSION TOPICS)fr ...more
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We are an international group who share an interest in reading all genres of books. We focus on four main areas: 1. Monthly Group Themed Read. Each mo ...more
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message 5: by Leah

Leah Thank you for your friend request! I am so excited to hear you will have a new book coming out. I very much enjoyed The Art of Devotion and was just wondering the other day if you had anything else in the works. I look forward to reading it!


Samantha Bruce-Benjamin Dear Misha,

Thank you so much for your kind words. I hope you will love it too and that it won't be long before you are able to read it.

Best wishes,

Samantha


Misha  Mathew Hey Samantha! Thanks for your friend request!I have read some really great reviews about your book and its on my wishlist. I have to wait much longer in my country , I guess but I am sure when I am able to read it I will love it.
Misha


Samantha Bruce-Benjamin Thanks again, Barbara! That's so wonderful to hear.


Barbara I checked your video out and it sounds to be a great book, one that you will want to read from start to finish. Congratulations and the Best of Luck.
Barbara


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