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Amanda Craig

Three Graces

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'Do you know why lifeboats have an axe in them?'
'To chop down trees on a desert island?'
'No. To cut off the hands of swimmers who can't be saved, because otherwise the boat and everyone in it will sink.'

When Enzo shoots an illegal migrant from his bedroom one night, it triggers a series of events that embroil old and young, rich and poor, native and foreign. His elderly neighbours Ruth, Diana and Marta are three friends who have retired to Tuscany. Ruth's favourite grandson Olly is about to get married from her idyllic hillside farmhouse; however, the bride, Tania, seems curiously unengaged by anything but vlogging as a social media influencer. Marta, preparing to give the annual music recital sponsored by a Russian oligarch in hiding from Putin, is increasingly unwell, and her grandson, Xan, is full of resentment at the inequalities he encounters. Diana is nursing her demented husband, Lord Evenlode, and desperate for her own freedom to begin.

Over two weeks in May, all these characters will face challenging choices as they grapple with their own past and with present dangers. For although the Tuscan spring looks as ravishing as a Renaissance painting, the realities of modern life make it harder and harder to believe that there is more that unites us than what keeps us apart.

Brilliant, enthralling, funny and generous, this is an exploration of the indomitable human heart.


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