Ros Barber’s second novel, Devotion, was published in the UK in August 2015. It will be published in the US on 12 April 2016. You can order it worldwide, postage free, from The Book Depository.
What’s it about? As Alice Fishburn put it in the FT, “Devotion, her provocative latest work, wrestles with love, death, parallel universes and — the thorniest question of all — whether God really exists.”
Ten years after the death of Richard Dawkins there are moves to have religious fundamentalism classified as a form of mental illness, and Finlay Logan, a celebrated criminal psychologist, must determine the sanity of April Jones, a disturbed young woman soon to be tried for a religiously-motivated atrocity. But Logan is struggling to maintain his own sanity as he wrestles with the grief over the death of his daughter, Flora. In his quest to understand April, he meets Gabrielle Salmon, a neuroscientist who claims to have discovered an experimental process which can create a direct spiritual experience at will. Does she hold the answer to resolving both his professional and personal difficulties?
Click on links in the text below to access the full reviews and interviews.
What the critics say:
Devotion is “compelling… a novel so animated with fascinating, troubling ideas” – The Guardian.
“The focus may be on the eternal questions but it is Barber’s ability to capture the small details of humanity that makes Devotion worth the read.” – The Financial Times.
“Intelligent, poetic writing … Barber weaves together the struggles of these complex characters with taut, high-stakes encounters in episodic chapters, making this a pacy novel in spite of the weighty subject matter; and barely a word is misplaced.” – TLS
“Barber’s prose is compelling and she brings a real sympathy to Logan’s character in particular.” – The Independent.
“thoughtful, intelligent” – Literary Review.
What readers say:
“Captivating and astonishing… from cover to cover ‘Devotion’ prods, pokes and provokes. This is quite simply a book to make you think (possibly until your thoughts combust)… Staggeringly original, the storyline blends with science and conjecture, creating a penetrating read that is not to be missed.” via lovereading.co.uk
“If you like well-written fiction – great prose, well-delineated characters, intelligent debate and good structure – then you won’t go far wrong with this. If you have a background in spiritual exploration, it could be the best piece of fiction you’ve read for a very long time.” – via Amazon.
“DEVOTION is an extremely engaging book with a similar power and theme to DeLillo’s WHITE NOISE and follows a path reminiscent of recent blockbuster movies with short titles – Limitless, Inception and In Time. It is gripping, exciting, original and bears absolutely no resemblance to Barbers previous work. It’s an exciting book in many ways: accessible and very timely.” – via Amazon.
Ros Barber interviewed by Jenni Murray on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, 7 August 2015.
Ros interviewed on The Workshy Fop.