In Devotion, an affair with a much older voice teacher leads a young girl into early marriage, leaving behind her
Brooklyn family and friends for a new life shadowed by her husband's Old World expectations.
Decades later, with her child now pursuing an art career in New York, mother and son come to
terms with the quiet intimacy they've both resented and cultivated. With shades of Woolf and
Bellow, Devotion is a story of family, solitude, and self-expression, where old and new values ripple
Esther was very young when she got pregnant. What do you think of her decision to
Esther's family, particularly her father, was very protective and strict. How do you
think her upbringing played into her affair with Bartha and her “running away” with
What do you imagine her friends back in Brooklyn make of Esther's disappearance?
The age gap between Esther and Bartha is very large. What do you think about
relationships with significant age gaps? Why do some succeed and some don't?
Over the years, Esther and Bartha each developed their own interests, which is
common relationship advice today. They also raised an ambitious, creative,
independent son and were generally respectful of each other. Would you call their
marriage a success?
Do you believe that Esther and Bartha love (loved) each other?
There's a lot of silence between Esther, Bartha, and Alexander. If you could “make”
them speak, what would have them say to each other?
What do you think about the role that music and art play in these characters lives?
Imagine you are a member of Esther's family who has been receiving and reading her
letters. How would you respond?
Do you believe that Esther will eventually make a trip back to New York, as Alexander