2022 Indie Shortlisted and ABIA Longlisted- Devotion by Hannah Kent – Our Review


Our Review…

Opening in a remote village on the edge of a forested woodland in Prussia 1836, Devotion immediately sweeps you the sensory world of Hanne, a young girl ill at ease with the rigid rules and tedious religious practices of the strict Lutheran hamlet, but perfectly at one with the natural world. Hanne is on the cusp of womanhood but is awkward within her own body, she feels deeply unloved and rejected by her beautiful mother and stern father. Misunderstood, she is content to retreat into the wildness of the natural world, when one day another young family with a daughter move into their community. Their warmth and humanity completely shake the foundations her world.

As with Burial Rites and The Good People, Hannah Kent’s masterful research of the plight of evangelical Lutherans fleeing religious persecution in Prussia and voyaging to freedom in South Australia is effortlessly woven into this complex love story.

At its heart Devotion explores the many types of love… the potential love (and its absence) between a mother and daughter, the unconditional love between brother and sister, and most tellingly the absolute love and trust between two young women, Hanne and Thea – which in the early 1850’s is absolutely taboo.

Devotion soars, it is gentle and at times heartbreaking, but ultimately it effortlessly sweeps you away with its beauty and grace. A glorious, tender novel, Devotion is a rare and beautiful story that will resonate for the longest time after you turn the final page.

Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books