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Author/Reader Discussions > Art of Devotion Discussion - Mark Your Spoilers

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (last edited Sep 01, 2010 06:06AM) (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10023 comments Mod
(**Please note that this post has been modified to reflect the discussion that is now taking place. Any comments that had been posted by members regarding the giveaway (addresses, entries) have been removed in an attempt to streamline the discussion thread. Thanks for understanding!)

Samantha Bruce-Benjamin and I have been in contact about her new novel The Art of Devotion, and have partnered together to create a TNBBC sidebar group read for the month of September.

The Art of Devotion by Samantha Bruce-Benjamin

It has been creating quite a buzz on Goodreads - with an average rating of 4.1 - and has been read by a few of our TNBBCer's already. Are you ready to read what everyone is talking about?

The Goodreads description is simple:
"A girl summers in the Mediterranean with her beautiful aunt, who hides secrets that could destroy everything she holds dear."

This novel was featured as a TNBBC giveaway, and 10 lucky members won copies prior to the discussion.

Everyone and anyone is free to join and discuss the novel throughout the entire month of September.

Samantha will be joining us as well, to answer any questions you may have about her novel as you go.

Please mark your spoilers carefully (perhaps by page#) so that members do not accidently find out about potential plot twists.

Thanks to Samantha for making this possible and thanks to all of you for your interest!!!

message 2: by Carol (new)

Carol Ok When do we get the book. hahahahahaaha. I looked at it on amazon and B&N. It really sounds interesting. So come on guys and gals let's roll.

message 3: by Caity (new)

Caity (adivineeternity) This book definitely caught my attention. I have a bit of an obsession with fiction (other than fantasy and sci-fi) that is set in places considered exotic by the average American.

message 4: by Caity (new)

Caity (adivineeternity) Yeah. The book sounds intriguing, which is awesome for having such a brief description.

That or I am attracted to the word Secrets...


message 5: by Carol (new)

Carol I have not read something like this in a long time. So it will be interesting.

message 6: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10023 comments Mod
3 copies left! Caity, you are in!

message 7: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Bruce-Benjamin | 27 comments Hi Everyone,

I am so delighted to have been working with Lori on this giveaway and pending discussion. It is so wonderful to come across such committed readers and I thank you for your kind thoughts ahead of reading the book and I trust that you will enjoy it and that we will have much to talk about in September. I hope, too, that you will recommend to your friends and invite many others into the group too. Happy reading!

All best wishes,

Samantha Bruce-Benjamin, author of The Art of Devotion

message 8: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments Hi Samantha,

Thanks for giving some copies out to us. I am sure we all will love this book. It has gtten such wonderful reviews and I can't wait to get started!

Best of luck!!

message 9: by Samantha (new)

Samantha Bruce-Benjamin | 27 comments Thanks! I hope you will all also go to the website for more information and a Readers Group Guide - although don't read that until you finish the book as it contains spoilers! You can also join the facebook page from there to keep up-to-date with all of the latest news on The Art of Devotion. Enjoy!

message 10: by Lisa Julianna (new)

Lisa Julianna (lisajulianna) | 1053 comments Thank you Lori and Samantha I am looking forward to reading this book. I can't wait to get it. :~)

message 11: by Carol (new)

Carol Yes thanks Samantha I am looking forward to reading and discussing your book.

message 12: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10023 comments Mod
Hey Samantha, thanks for jumping in and introducing yourself to the group!

And of course, thank you so much for the opportunity to give copies away in an effort to promote the new book!

And then, yes - we cannot forget to thank the winners and everyone else for thier interests!!!

message 13: by Caity (new)

Caity (adivineeternity) Haha, Lori. I love it. Super Mod is SOOO right. Very excited about receiving my copy of this book to read. That many good reviews can't be too far off the mark...

message 14: by Caity (new)

Caity (adivineeternity) Woohoo!! My copy just arrived about 5 minutes ago! Gonna use it for the seasonal reading challenge to give me time to finish my other book.

message 15: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments Was it delivered UPS? I got a notice from them about a pkg....

message 16: by Caity (new)

Caity (adivineeternity) Yeah, it was.

message 17: by Carol (new)

Carol Yippee!!!! My book came today. As soon as I finish Slow Man I will start on this one.

message 18: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10023 comments Mod
Hooray! I am glad they are starting to arrive.
Dont forget that we are going to read this as a group and discuss for the month of Sept!!!

message 19: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I got my book today too. Very excited to start it and discuss!

message 20: by Sherrie (new)

Sherrie Got my book yesterday as well! What a beautiful cover - it will be my next in line for Sept. - looking forward to it!

message 21: by Erika (new)

Erika (erikareading) You're all making it very hard for me to wait patiently for my copy! Hope I get it today or tomorrow.

message 22: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10023 comments Mod
I always hate being the one to get book last.. so I know the feeling Erika!

message 23: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (purehrt555) | 17 comments Received mine yesterday, it looks good.

message 24: by Erika (new)

Erika (erikareading) Oh I got mine today afterall! The UPS man was way too suspenseful and cruel though. First he drove in front of my neighbor's house, then in front of mine, sat there for five minutes before driving off, THEN he quickly backed up and ended up throwing my package on the doorstep without knocking. Good thing I was paying attention or I wouldn't have checked! Ha ha!

I agree about the cover art. I thought it was beautiful before but now seeing it in person it is even more gorgeous. The first line of the story is great too. It's making me want to read this ASAP! Can't wait to read and discuss :)

message 25: by Lisa Julianna (new)

Lisa Julianna (lisajulianna) | 1053 comments YAY!!! I got mine today....Can't wait to dive into it. :~)

message 26: by Caity (new)

Caity (adivineeternity) I totally agree about how gorgeous the cover art is. It's so gorgeous, in fact, that I am using it for the beautiful book cover task in the Seasonal Reading Challenge. This serves two purposes: making me focus on Citizens of London AND filling a task with something I was going to read, anyway.

message 27: by Donna (last edited Aug 25, 2010 08:01AM) (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments My UPS guy wrote a note saying "under Mat" Yikes!!! SOmeone could have taken it!! Luckliy my Mom lives on the 4th floor and noticed it and took it upstairs with her!

I will start it after I finish my current book. I will be ready come Sept.

message 28: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments Like Sept. 1st??? Or just September in general?? Does that make sense? It does in my head LOL

message 29: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10023 comments Mod
All of september Donna. No need to freak out :)

message 30: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments Well, I just started it! The cover is so beautiful and it just pulled me in!

message 31: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I started the book a couple of days ago and am about half way through it right now. I'm a day early, sorry! I can't wait for other people to start reading it because there have been a few points where I've thought "I have to remember this so I can ask someone else what they thought!"

Non-spoiler thoughts: I was immediately interested when I started reading, though the intruigue/mystery left my mind wandering to really far off places and then I'd realize I was way off. The language is beautiful. I find myself going back and forth between not noticing the writing because it seems familiar in style (like it is close to the way I formulate thought in my mind so it just seemed natural) to almost getting distracted by the artistry of the words and phrasing.

message 32: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10023 comments Mod
Since we already started talking about the book here, let's continue using this thread as the discussion thread.

Please mark your spoilers. Since it is not an official group read, there will only be one thread to discuss the book.

Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

message 33: by Caity (new)

Caity (adivineeternity) You guys are making me really excited to read this book! I think as soon as I finish chapter 4 of my current book (which, by the way, is definitely STILL Citizens of London, in case you were wondering), I'm going to start The Art of Devotion. I figure that'll be good incentive for me to get back to reading the one I never feel like reading.

message 34: by Carol (new)

Carol I had trouble getting into the rhythm of the book in the beginning. It switched back and forth between the four characters and it was confusing. The flow picked up when I found a cadence and went ok after that.

message 35: by Erika (new)

Erika (erikareading) Carol, I was having the same problem. I couldn't quite figure out the characters relations to one another. Had to keep flipping back to the character list at the beginning every time a new chapter started. I'm on page 50 now and seem to have figured out the flow of the story and the characters now. Hoping from here on I will start enjoying it more.

message 36: by Carol (new)

Carol Glad I wasn't the only one. I will be interested to know why the author chose that format.

message 37: by Donna (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments It took me a litle bit too to get the flow of it. I finally know who is who and I totally get it now. I am about on page 104 and I get it. It is very poetic.

message 38: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (purehrt555) | 17 comments I can't wait to start this book. I just have to finish what I am reading now, so I figure I should be able to start early next week.

message 39: by Julie (new)

Julie Smith  (jewelknits) | 2 comments I read this book a couple of months ago; it was wonderful. Very lyrically written, with punches that you don't see coming ... it's on my keeper shelf, as I think it would be a book that I can pick up and re-read in a few months and still enjoy.

message 40: by Caity (new)

Caity (adivineeternity) I'm only on page 37, but I'm quite pleased with how it is progressing so far. I agree that the writing is really lyrical, like an art in and of itself. It's different from what I am used to, but I really like it. I am also happy to have finally sorted out the characters, for the most part, and am more able to focus on the story rather than my confusion.

And, like Julie, I can see myself picking this one up again for a reread. It's easy to get into and the writing is wonderful.

message 41: by Donna (last edited Sep 03, 2010 06:30AM) (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 1626 comments ***********************SPOILERS********************************

OK so I hit the midway part and OMG!!! First, I can't believe what I just found out about Jack's brother and also I am not all too surpirsed about Adora and Jack but it is weird of me to hope for something to happen with Gigi and Oliver???? I also can't believe that Oliver would ask James about the whole kid thing. I was utterly appalled!! That is a lot to ask someone and I do think I would react the same way as Miranda did. I wouldn't know really what to do. They are best friends but I think she and I are the same in that respect. I woundn't want to break up their friendship but still....

message 42: by Mary (new)

Mary | 203 comments I read this book last month and I also agree with Julie. It is a keeper. The writing is beautiful.

message 43: by Amanda (last edited Sep 03, 2010 03:02PM) (new)

Amanda I finished the book last weekend. A little more than halfway through I got into manic "I need to finish this book TODAY" mode. That's always a good thing. I'm still going to hang on to my thoughts for a few days while other people read, but...


Donna, after reading your previous message, I cannot wait to hear your thoughts as the book continues!

message 44: by Carol (last edited Sep 03, 2010 04:16PM) (new)

Carol ************SPOILERS*****************

I thought Adora was selfish at first until I learned her father died at a young age, and her mother was emotionally absent from Sebastian and her.

I did not like Miranda from the very first, she was too put upon and played the victim too much. I thought her conniving and she had little to redeem her. And then Gigi goes along with her mother's wishes and marries Oliver to further the family fortune ,it was disgusting.

I don't have pleasant thoughts about Sophia either. The only victims were Adora and her brother. Oliver was a nasty piece of work also. There were so many users and abusers in this book.

The book and the language reminded me of F. Scott Fitzgerald. I would like to know if the author was influenced by the works of Fitzgerald . The author had a good feel for the 1930's. I am reading a book now and the author can't decide if she wants to be in the 30's or 2010, it is very annoying.

message 45: by Choco (new)

Choco I went to a few bookstores here in Australia and couldn't find the book. I was told it will take up to 3 weeks if I order it at Borders. Maybe I should order it on the Internet? I just hope I can get the book before September's over!

message 46: by Moni (new)

Moni (monim) | 1 comments Thanks so much for a copy of this book...I'm on page 100 and finally getting the who's who. I had to do as others and keep flipping to the Characters thanks for putting that in there... Definately keeping me reading...hard to put down so far, but I work retail so I don't have as much time as I'd like to read...

message 47: by Erika (new)

Erika (erikareading) I just got to the part where we meet Jack (Part II). I think I'm going to have a really hard time putting this book down now. I'm loving everyone's reaction to him.

message 48: by Caity (new)

Caity (adivineeternity) I finished this book faster than most and I really liked it. I'm definitely keeping my copy, which isn't something I often do for books outside the fantasy and science fiction genres.


I'm a little confused as to Adora's motivations still, but she was definitely redeemed in the end, although I still saw her as a bit selfish. Miranda ended up disgusting me, and while I should have been mad at Genevieve, there was so much she found out too late.

Also a bit confused about Oliver and the issues with him.

message 49: by Carol (last edited Sep 06, 2010 07:50AM) (new)

Carol ****************SPOILERS**************************

I can understand where Miranda was coming from. She was motivated by poverty of emotions and material comforts as a child. That still does not absolve her from her actions though. I think she was bankrupt in every possible human emotions except greed and malice.

Adora and Miranda were quite a bit alike. Adora was emotionally stunted due to Sofia's depression after her husbands death. Where Miranda's flaws turned to hurting others,Adora's flaws turned her thoughts inward to depression and obsession .

Oliver was a user. I have no compassion for men who chew people up and spit them put with total disregard to the hurt they cause.

Jack was a little lost boy in a world he had no place in.

message 50: by Sarah Jan (last edited Sep 07, 2010 07:25AM) (new)

Sarah Jan | 3 comments The writing in this book was beautiful, but I just could not love it because, for me, there were no lovable characters in it. Who knows? If we had been privy to Jack's and Sebastian's voices as we were to Adora's, Sophie's and Genevieve's, they might have ended up just as flawed as the rest of them. I just finished the book with a sense that I really didn't like any of them. What really did it for me was Genevieve's revelation in the end. I'm sorry, but it just left me cold. No redemption. Everyone suffered, (except for Oliver perhaps and he of all the characters needed to suffer) No one was heroic. Talk about dysfunctional families!!!!!

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