|the devoted by blair hurley, book 27|
December 19, 2018
a debut novel set in boston is "a sharp-eyed account of the psychological and sexual hold a spiritual 'master' can get on a lost young woman." says edmund white on the jacket's cover. also on the cover, "in deft, soaring prose that bristles with psychological and erotic tension, hurley crafts a thrilling exploration of Nicole's ecstatic quest for spirituality. A spellbinding confession of what it takes to abandon one life for another."
so far, sharp, zinging...that word above "bristles", yes, bristles. but i am already rooting for nicole while learning a little about zendos and studying with a master.
nicole meditates on her balcony and sits so still for so long chipmunks and squirrels sometimes visit and touch their noses to her knees, wondering if she is still alive, and drawn to her stillness. this has happened to me, that peaceful stillness drawing in animals, wild and domestic. so many phrases transport me instantly to that realm while reading then suddenly punctuated by her actions like stitches holding her to daily "life" in her world. i am reminded of what draws me to the practice of zen buddhism, tho i have never nor would likely ever succumb to the rigors Nicole undertakes. i'm too undisciplined for that. perhaps too healthy i hear this witer exploring. because i have been less healthy at times and sucked into other "religious" practices and held captivated (a good word) by those who practice those versions of religion with great power and influence i can relate to nicole.
for the vulnerable, it can be a dangerous waltz and i think this is what this writer explores.
i want nicole to hold onto her lessons but find her freedom and all the fullness and peace-filled happiness.