Blair Hurley's "The Devoted" is a beautifully written and expertly crafted story that follows a woman named Nicole, raised Catholic in Boston, who finds herself ensnared in the life of a predatory teacher of Zen Buddhism. As we follow Nicole's tale, from her childhood in Boston with a fervently religious and mentally unstable mother, to her time as a teenage runaway with her first love and a trip that ends in tragedy, to her new life in New York trying to escape from the psychological hold of her former master, Hurley weaves in relatable meditations on why humans search for faith and grasp tightly to their beliefs in an ever-changing, unpredictable and unsteady world.— From Lauren
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.