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Madeline Stevens Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Devotion (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Madeline Stevens
Madeline Stevens is a fiction writer best known for her debut novel, Devotion, an intriguing book that has been translated into several languages. The Oregon-born writer previously concentrated on writing essays and stories that were published in CrimeReads, The Guardian, and Monkeybicycle. Stevens has an MFA from Colombia University. When she is not writing, the Los-Angeles-based author enjoys teaching creative writing to children and adults on Writopia Lad and Catapult.

Devotion
Devotion is a suspenseful story that explores an obsessive and complicated love ingrained in vague desire. This book chronicles a mutually damaging relationship between Elle and Lonnie. Elle is a poor girl who seems damaged from the start. She has no plans for her life, and she lives each day as it comes. Lonnie, on the other hand, is rich and comes from old money, so poverty is something she has never had to think about. While both women are just 26-years in age, Lonnie seems to have everything Elle ever wanted- money, a family, and two men who would do anything for her. A deeper look into her life tells a different story.

Ella’s life in New York City has been a bit destructive. The only way this young woman has survived is by bending the truth every now and then and sleeping with any man who can offer her meal. Things get tougher when she can barely meet her rent, but Lonnie comes to her rescue in the most bizarre way. Elle interviews for a nanny job with Lonnie, and she easily gets the job as her employer doesn’t ask too many questions. Now, Elle doesn’t have to worry about rent or food since she has a job and can spend as much time as she wants in Lonnie’s home. Ella’s job is to watch after Lonnie’s son William, help Lonnie organize her personal items, and do whatever else she feels like when she is not working.

Lonnie has a doting husband, a son, and all the money a girl would ask for. Unfortunately, she seems unhappy and a little strange, and soon enough, she is entangled in an affair. It is clear that Lonnie is suffering from a lack of purpose, and it doesn’t help that the two men in her life are hyper-focused on the emotions she provokes in them. When Lonnie is not wondering what between motherhood and writing a book appeals to her, she spends her time fantasizing about per past lives and comparing them to what she has in the present. Despite all the uncertainty in her life, Lonnie wishes to for something more exciting, and she will not stop until she gets it.

Being in Lonnie’s household introduces Elle to a life she didn’t know existed. When she is not enjoying the comfort of Lonnie’s luxurious home, Elle is accompanying the couple to parties she would never be invited to. She also joins the family in the fancy vacations. Lonnie welcomes Elle into her own home and treats her more like a sister, not an employee. Elle enjoys Lonnie’s treats, including the clothes that she did not mind loaning to her baby’s nanny. Lonnie also saw Elle as a confidant, and the two women enjoyed chatting on so many things about life.

Within Weeks, Ella has bonded with William so much she would fill in for his mother if necessary. The two women spend a lot of time together, and Ella spends little if any time in her apartment. While Lonnie is happy to have someone she can talk to, it doesn’t take long for Ella to realize that she takes everything she has for granted. Elle watches as the affair progresses in between watching William and cataloging Lonnie’s possessions, wearing her boss’s clothes, and reading her journals.

The more Elle learns about Lonnie’s life, her desire for the kind of life her boss lives increases. Elle tries to get into Lonnie’s identity and connect with the men in her boss’s life. She also often thinks about Lonnie’s thanklessness when she has so many things to be grateful for. Is Elle jealous or also in love with Lonnie? Why does she feel hurt when Lonnie chooses to spend her time with someone else? Who is Lonnie as a person, and why do the people around her seem to love and hate her at the same time?

Among the things that Ella discovers is that Lonnie disregards the normal boundaries associated with marriage and friendship. She doesn’t hide her affair from her nanny, and privacy is never an issue. Could there be a secret behind Lonnie’s effortless life? Follow Ella as she works to uncover Lonnie’s life. Ella will soon be so immersed in Lonnie’s life that it will seem like she may never get anything else done. What does it feel to live a day in Lonnie’s shoes?
While everyone worships Lonnie’s beauty in this story, it is clear that her looks do not come with any remarkable characteristics. While she shows kindness to her baby’s nanny, Lonnie is careless in her affection towards Willian. She seems to take her privileged life for granted, and she does little for anyone else. Lonnie also lacks in discipline and self-control, so much that her father describes her as a spiteful, clumsy, and directionless embarrassment. While this story builds slowly, it is intense, and the suspense will keep you turning the pages. How does everyone’s life end now that what started as a love triangle seems to be turning into a square? Will Lonnie’s relationships survive the unseen twists and turns?

Devotion is a startling, riveting, and propulsive story of mismatched power, blinding desire, lust, and privilege. Read this book to see how a nanny’s resentment for her well-to-do employer turns into an obsession and how the two women handle the situation. Ella’s characterization is perfect, and the author’s writing style will keep you turning the pages. If you are into psychological thrillers, you are going to love this book. The ending will leave you yearning for more while mulling over the characters and the things to be on the look-out for when hiring a nanny.

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