Sceptre Books UK will publish Stone Yard Devotional on March 7, 2024. Thanks for this stunning cover: image by Emma McEvoy, design by Sofia Hericson.
For pre-orders and UK events, click here.
'This magnificent, radical novel ... gripped me from the opening line to the very last.'
- Helen Elliott, SMH/The Age
'A stunning work of fiction from a major writer who keeps getting better.'
- Gretchen Shirm, The Australian
'A beautiful and masterful book especially for its ability to dwell within the confusion and complexity of all that it is questioning, and for all of its quiet force.'
- Fiona Wright, Guardian Australia
'A book that extends and deepens Wood’s already remarkable achievements as a novelist in powerful and often profound ways.'
- James Bradley, The Saturday Paper
'The consistently brilliant Wood delivers yet again.'
- Jason Steger, Sydney Morning Herald
'Wood’s generous capacity for sustained attention is a gift to readers ... Stone Yard Devotional invites the kind of contemplation and pause that is rare in a world of constant distraction. Its slow pace is counterbalanced by the shafts of meaning that fall right through Wood’s lucid prose. Its stillness comes to feel less like a retreat and more like a radical practice, the soul-work of holding oneself accountable. If there is peace to be found here, it is hard won.'
- Jennifer Mills, Australian Book Review
'Charlotte Wood's Stone Yard Devotional is remarkable - I'm still trying to figure out how she pulled it off. The best thing she's done.'
- Tim Winton, Sydney Morning Herald
Click here for Interviews about Stone Yard Devotional
ABOUT THE NOVEL
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