Like many of Howard Norman’s celebrated novels, this intense and intriguingly unconventional love story begins with a crime. David Kozol has assaulted his father-in-law on a London street. What could possibly enrage David enough that he would strike the father of his new bride? Why would William, the gentle caretaker of an estate in Nova Scotia along with its flock of swans be so angry at the man who has just married his beloved daughter Maggie? And what would lead Maggie to believe that David has been unfaithful to her?
At its core, Devotion is an elegantly constructed, unsparing examination of love in its various forms -- romantic, filial -- and of course, love for the vast open spaces of the natural world.