Title: The Third Grace
Author: Deb Elkink
Format: print and digital
Publisher: Greenbrier Fiction (Nov. 18 2011)
2012 WINNER OF THE GRACE IRWIN AWARD
ENDORSEMENT for The Third Grace —
She has even changed her name, yet Aglaia, formerly Mary Grace, cannot escape the past she despises or the memories that haunt and beckon her. Instead of finding comfort and solace in the faith of her youth, Aglaia seeks fulfillment in her work as a successful fashion designer, and fascination in the sensual Greek mythology Francois introduced her to before the dark days came.
Professor Lou Chapman compounds Aglaia’s confusion and discomfort by playing on her weaknesses while childhood friend Naomi Enns tries to protect her from herself. Behind it all, Francois beckons from her memories as she explores the streets of Paris.
The characters in this book are unique and well defined. Each of them has issues to deal with, as we discover along the way. Some change and grow, others recede into themselves, still others seem to be pushing toward a precipice, so the tension keeps us reading. Dialogue is smooth and natural, suited to the individual characters.
Author Deb Elkink skillfully weaves mythology and faith through plot and theme, emphasizing the stark contrast between Aglaia’s old-fashioned farm upbringing and her new life in the city.
The settings, from familiar to foreign, are vivid with sound, sight, taste and texture. Although I’ve never been to Paris, I feel as if I’ve had a taste of it. The essence of the culture is clear in the fabric of the story.
The Third Grace uses the symbolism of fabric and pattern, warp and weave, as a seamless backdrop to Aglaia’s journey. Suspense tightens the weave until several unexpected revelations snap the thread of lies Aglaia has so long believed.
The Third Grace is a finely textured story of troubled faith and self-discovery, an incredible debut novel.
See Deb’s website here: www.debelkink.com