In her midforties and settled into the responsibilities and routines of adulthood, Dani Shapiro found herself with more questions than answers. Was this all life was - a hodgepodge of errands, dinner dates, e-mails, meetings, to-do lists? What did it all mean?
Having grown up in a deeply religious and traditional family, Shapiro had no personal sense of faith, despite repeated attempts to create a connection to something greater. Feeling as if she was plunging headlong into what Carl Jung termed "the afternoon of life," she wrestled with self-doubt and a searing disquietude that would awaken her in the middle of the night. Set adrift by loss - her father's early death; the life-threatening illness of her infant son; her troubled relationship with her mother - she had become edgy and uncertain. At the heart of this anxiety, she realized, was a challenge: What did she believe? Spurred on by the big questions her young son began to raise, Shapiro embarked upon a surprisingly joyful quest to find meaning in a constantly changing world. The result is Devotion: a literary excavation to the core of a life.
In this spiritual detective story, Shapiro explores the varieties of experience she has pursued - from the rituals of her black hat Orthodox Jewish relatives to yoga shalas and meditation retreats. A reckoning of the choices she has made and the knowledge she has gained, Devotion is the story of a woman whose search for meaning ultimately leads her home. Her journey is at once poignant and funny, intensely personal - and completely universal.
©2010 Dani Shapiro (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
Wow . . . I don't know how I stumbled onto this but sure glad I did. The author's POV and experiences resonated with me. This is not "easy" content . . . it is contemplative and honest and it hit home deep within me. Thank you, Dani.
I liked that Dani shared a lot about her experiences and tied it all in to the theme of her work. One might think on first glance this work might be some new age/wishy washy story, but Ms Shapiro is really a down to earth realist in this book who shares how she found a way that made sense to her for how to be a good person and be good to others for a reason. I am not Jewish or Buddhist or Atheist or Agnostic, which are all addressed in Devotion, but I still got a lot out of it, and I am thankful she read it to me too so I had time to take it in - great voice for rhythmic words!
Functional medicine doctor, yogini, wife, mom, seeker, knitter.
Piercing truthfulness. One of those books that I had to pull over on the side of the road 12 times to record ideas. Artful, deep, authentic.
How on earth did this get published?
Glum but well-off middle-aged mom frets that she's not a good Jew and is basically a total drag. Seriously. Zero humor, nil insight. Kind of like listening to the longest most boring self-absorbed therapy session ever.
Some great nuggets but overall I found the story to come across as somewhat pessimistic... Just not what I was looking for.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.