Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.


Dialogues with the Wise Woman
Scammed by a Las Vegas con artist, pianist George Sistern becomes deeply depressed. He meets Mildred Markowitz, a psychologist and philosopher of genius, and embarks on a journey of growth and transcendence. He discovers the power of self-esteem and self-compassion.
After being scammed out of $500 and a date by "a Las Vegas con artist,” the protagonist of this surprising philosophical and allegorical novel, Devens’ fiction debut, falls into a state of depression, fueled by rage and hate. Then George Sistern begins to see therapist Mildred Markowitz, who imparts valuable life lessons and wisdom unto him through their sessions, changing George’s perspective on life and the ways he interacts with people going forward, while discussing, in impassioned and wide-ranging colloquies, religion, morals, practical steps for moving past depression, the urgency of understanding both psychology and philosophy, and the complicated ideals and gray areas of right and wrong/good vs. evil. With heavy themes of self-awareness, self-assurance, and self-love,Dialogues with the Wise Woman is a heart-warming journey into self-discovery and the kindness of those around us.

"[T]he more self-esteem a person has, the less likely they are to make such errors of judgment," Mildred tells George, and Devens artfully crafts the characters and story to be both lifelike and to demonstrate that truth. Upon beginning his sessions with Mildred, George finds community amongst an eccentric group of characters. When George befriends Tony Blangiardo, Tony promises to help George get his money back from the Vegas scammer, but more urgent is how George must continue to do the work to eradicate the parts of himself that allowed him to be taken advantage of in the first place.

The protagonist, George, is an artist (a pianist) seeking love and companionship, which he finds in the most unlikely places as he opens himself up to the people around him. Devens keeps the sessions unpredictable, as the conversations touch on a host of issues like the ethics of revenge, the role of rats and vermin in creation, how “most of the pain that results from the consequences of our mistakes is self-imposed.” This is a unique, thought-provoking portrait of a character, a therapy relationship, and what it means to be human.

Takeaway: Healing discussions between a therapist and a man facing depression.

Comparable Titles: Alex Korb’s The Upward Spiral, Martha Beck’s Diana, Herself.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A