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Stone Yard Devotional

Charlotte Wood

$32.99

Paperback

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English
Allen & Unwin
01 October 2023

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- An unnamed narrator takes a retreat at a cloistered abbey near the town she grew up in. She’s avoiding thinking about her marriage breakdown and observing the nuns’ rituals with some incomprehension, but a few years later she is resident there. Has she run away from the world? Is it solace or solitude she seeks? Or forgiveness? As she revisits her moral failings, the world intrudes: first a mouse plague, then someone from her past… A quiet novel, all the more powerful because of its introspection. Lindy


A woman abandons her city life and marriage to return to the place of her childhood, holing up in a small religious community hidden away on the stark plains of the Monaro.

She does not believe in God, doesn't know what prayer is, and finds herself living this strange, reclusive life almost by accident. As she gradually adjusts to the rhythms of monastic life, she finds herself turning again and again to thoughts of her mother, whose early death she can't forget.

Disquiet interrupts this secluded life with three visitations. First comes a terrible mouse plague, each day signalling a new battle against the rising infestation.

Second is the return of the skeletal remains of a sister who left the community decades before to minister to deprived women in Thailand - then disappeared, presumed murdered.

Finally, a troubling visitor to the monastery pulls the narrator further back into her past.

With each of these disturbing arrivals, the woman faces some deep questions. Can a person be truly good? What is forgiveness? Is loss of hope a moral failure? And can the business of grief ever really be finished?

A meditative and deeply moving novel from one of Australia's most acclaimed and best loved writers.

'Wood joins the ranks of writers such as Nora Ephron, Penelope Lively and Elizabeth Strout.' THE GUARDIAN UK

By:  
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 153mm, 
Weight:   343g
ISBN:   9781761069499
ISBN 10:   1761069497
Pages:   312
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Charlotte Wood is the author of ten books - seven novels and three non-fiction works. She has won the Stella Prize and the Prime Minister's Literary Award, among others, and her features and essays have appeared in The Guardian, New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald, The Monthly, Saturday Paper and others. She lives in Sydney.

Reviews for Stone Yard Devotional

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- An unnamed narrator takes a retreat at a cloistered abbey near the town she grew up in. She’s avoiding thinking about her marriage breakdown and observing the nuns’ rituals with some incomprehension, but a few years later she is resident there. Has she run away from the world? Is it solace or solitude she seeks? Or forgiveness? As she revisits her moral failings, the world intrudes: first a mouse plague, then someone from her past… A quiet novel, all the more powerful because of its introspection. Lindy



  • Long-listed for Best Fiction 2024 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Fiction 2024 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Indie Book Awards 2024 (Australia)

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