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  • Stone Yard Devotional

  • By: Charlotte Wood
  • Narrated by: Ailsa Piper
  • Length: 6 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Stone Yard Devotional cover art

Stone Yard Devotional

By: Charlotte Wood
Narrated by: Ailsa Piper
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2023 Charlotte Wood (P)2023 Allen and Unwin

What listeners say about Stone Yard Devotional

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I keep listening to this over and over.

As mentioned by other reviewers, this book has not really got a storyline, which unaccountably seems to frustrate some types of readers. Not me. Not others here too. This book is a strangely addictive collection of musings, recollections, perspectives, and shared guilty truths. But it's also a really gentle read. Hard to describe. Very easy to listen to. Narrator is perfect for it too.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Deeply satisfying and satisfyingly deep

I was taken to a quiet reflective space as I listened to this bare and starkly spacious novel. It is written in the first person and tells of a group of people living a pared back simple life of religious order in the course of which courage, forbearance, love and forgiveness emerge in response to human frailty and natural disaster.
It is both a gripping story and a message of understanding and kindness.
Thank you Charlotte Wood,

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An instant Australian classic

Loved this book, which feels like a gift, and the performance from Ailsa Piper is just perfect. For those in need of space and solace.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Moving

Recognising many events that occurred in this book … the hippies, the charismatic religious gatherings at homes, the bowl of rice we ate to raise money etc leaves a moving, melancholy feeling. A beautiful story Charlotte. Thank you.

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beautifully written

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It made mw wish the author was my friend. I found it to be an intimate narrative, gripping but subtle.

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  • Overall
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stone boring

I preserved as long as I could but could not finish it, it had nothing of interest

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A different type of tale to my usual listen.

I almost binged this, I couldn't stop listening.
Not sure even now what it was really about.
It doesn't have a plot or or a high point but it it is strangely compelling and I really needed to hear it out.
Narrator was great, with a calm pleasant voice that is definitely suited to this type of story.
Would I listen to this Author again? Probably yes but not for a little while.
I know this is probably a weird sort of review but it's not an easy story to describe, perhaps once you have listened to it you will get what I mean.

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