The past casts a long shadow — especially when it points to a woman’s first love.
Her name was Mary Grace until she fell in love with the French exchange student visiting her family’s Nebraska farm. François renamed her “Aglaia” — after one of the beautiful Three Graces of Greek mythology — and set the seventeen-year-old girl longing for something more than her parents’ simplistic life and faith.
Now, fifteen years later, Aglaia works as a costume designer in Denver. Her budding success in the city’s posh arts scene convinces her that she’s left the naive farm girl far behind.
But “Mary Grace” has deep roots, as Aglaia learns during a business trip to Paris. Her discovery of sensual notes François jotted into a Bible during that long-ago fling, a silly errand imposed by her mother, and the scheming of her sophisticated mentor all conspire to create a thirst in her soul that neither evocative daydreams nor professional success can quench.
The Third Grace is a captivating debut novel that will take you on a dual journey across oceans and time — in the footsteps of a woman torn between her rural upbringing and her search for self.
“An incredible debut novel. Elkink expertly weaves threads of mythology and troubled faith into a finely textured and compelling story of self-discovery.” — Janice L. Dick, author, editor, speaker
“Deb Elkink draws us into the multiple strands of this story and sends us into three worlds as we search for the three graces – the world of arts and classic culture, the world of the farmer and through the beginning-to-end scope of the scriptures. Her sentences and phrases are rich and often surprising, like some gourmet meal. I was propelled to follow the story through to its completion. Setting aside my mundane life for the intoxicating world of the novel “proved [I] was recovering from [my] habit of temperance” – to quote a phrase that made me chuckle. Elkink has wrapped mythology, aesthetics and theology in a blanket of sexual tension as we unwind the mystery of the life of her protagonist. And we are at peace and relieved when all is unwrapped and in the open.” — Terry Olson, Director Orange (Florida) County Arts