Stone Yard Devotional by Charlotte Wood
About the book:
A deeply moving novel about forgiveness, grief, and what it means to be ‘good’, from the award-winning author of The Natural Way of Things and The Weekend.
A woman abandons her city life and marriage to return to the place she grew up, finding solace 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 ruminates on her childhood in the nearby town. 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 the Stella Prize-winning author of The Natural Way of Things and The Weekend.
About the author:
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.
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Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Publication: 3 October 2023
Format: Paperback, 320p
Category: Modern and contemporary fiction, small rural town