Serenity Now

In Devotion, writer Dani Shapiro chronicles her search for faith

Lorin Klaris

Shapiro counters spiritual malaise with a search for inner peace.

A few years ago, Dani Shapiro began suffering from what she calls an "is-this-all-there-is despondency," a spiritual malaise she chronicles in her new memoir, Devotion (HarperCollins; 245 pages). She had her farmhouse with a quarter-mile-long driveway, a sweetheart of a husband, an adorable son and a thriving career as a novelist, but something was missing.

A diamond-studded tennis bracelet? No: inner peace and the means to cope with the impermanence of all things, including herself. This kind of crisis--regarded as a luxurious problem by many--is not an uncommon malaise in the well-heeled, 40-something mom set. Not coincidentally, they tend to purchase...

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