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Devotion Reviews

Devotion by Madeline Stevens


Madeline Stevens

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Faber & Faber
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Publication date: 15 Aug 2019
ISBN: 9780571349074

Ella Crawford is 26, lonely, and so broke that she seduces strange men when she suspects they'll buy her dinner. Ella is mesmerised by Lonnie's girlish affection and disregard for the normal boundaries of friendship and marriage, but resentment grows too, alongside this dizzying attraction.

4 stars out of 5
7 Sep 2019

"The book is nicely written, and very dark and sexy in places"

This is a New York state of mind novel, very much in love with its own kinkiness. With a central character both quirky and loathsome, any hopes of identification are quickly dashed. Not that it matters. The book is nicely written, and very dark and sexy in places, like a Leonard Cohen song in a second-hand designer dress.


4 stars out of 5
Claire Allfree
8 Aug 2019

"this well-written debut has the pulse of a slow-burning thriller"

Here's another Ella, also an aimless millennial, but, this time, a nastily impoverished one barely scraping a living in New York. Somehow, she lands a job as nanny to a wealthy Upper East Side couple and is quickly sucked into their life of gilded decadence, secretly privy to Lonnie’s affair with her husband’s best friend and to Lonnie’s private thoughts, written in a journal she hides, oddly, in the freezer...Yet, while this well-written debut has the pulse of a slow-burning thriller, it’s really a claustrophobic study in class and inequality, although you might feel its conclusions — that those born at the bottom will always be on the outside — are hardly a revelation.