Devotion by Hannah Kent

A hard read which I was compelled to finish despite the growing sense of unease I felt from the unfolding story. A close religious community  from Prussia in Europe take up the offer to escape persecution and undertake the perilous voyage to a new life in Australia- a life the community hope will be more peaceful and fruitful .We follow 15yr old Hanne in her journey of self discovery in life and death  through the harrowing sea voyage and beyond. There are elements of the supernatural which add an extra dimension to the tale with touches of Pagan rituals and cures which contradict the religious ethos of the community adding conflict and danger from within to the mix.

The beauty and realism of the narrative are the standout features of this book. Hannah Kent demonstrates historical attention to detail in the everyday lives of her characters and weaves everything together beautifully.

Engaging and at times uncomfortable reading but compelling all the same.

Submitted by Jillian