Award-winning Australian novelist Charlotte Wood has written a thoughtful and moving novel about the concept of forgiveness: its meaning, its value, and the limits of empathy. The plot centers on an unnamed narrator who retreats to a community of nuns to find the sense of purpose she has lost in her marriage and in her work.
While we learn little about her past, Wood artfully uses the gaps and silences to suggest that an individual’s life matters less than our attempts to understand others more fully, more generously. Stone Yard Devotional isn’t a page-turner, nor does it provide any easy answers to the experience of human relationships, religious faith and embodiment. Instead, it’s a beautifully written exploration of the necessary search for meaning in an ethically complex world.