The Three Graces Kirkus Review
“Three young women, shaken by mysterious episodes in which they transcend time and space, forge an unlikely friendship in Wolfe’s charming debut novel.
It’s the fall semester at Boulder, Colorado’s Stone College for juniors Jessie, Sara, and Isabel, but midterm exams are the least of these girls’ worries. For each girl, what started as a few unsettling sensations—such as hearing music when none was playing or inexplicably smelling salt water—becomes something far more intense. It turns out that each co-ed has access to a hidden world. Their experiences, which seem like premonitions, aren’t always pleasant: Jessie becomes trapped inside a maze; Isabel finds herself marooned in a seaside cave; and chains “slither up” Sara’s arms and legs. As pressures at home and school begin to mount, the girls escape to California for what’s supposed to be a fun-filled getaway. However, their baffling out-of-body incidents continue. During a visit to Hearst Castle, Jessie, Sara, and Isabel are drawn toward a marble statue depicting the goddesses Brilliance, Joy, and Bloom. Can the connections they establish with the deities help them conquer their fears and put an end to their otherworldly excursions? Or has it just brought them closer to the forces they hope to escape? Although several supernatural elements skirt around the plot’s edges, the focus of this tale is on friendship. Jessie, Sara, and Isabel find one another at a critical point, as each woman questions herself and her future. Although the strange places in which they find themselves can be unsettling, it’s a credit to Wolfe that the most memorable passages are set in the real world. One such scene comes early in the novel as Isabel, who struggles to connect with her parents, watches her mother loosen her father’s boots after the old man has fallen asleep in his recliner: “It was only in moments like this, just glimpses really, when she felt anything for them,” Wolfe writes. “And how horrible was that?” Other epiphanies reveal themselves just as quietly, making for an unexpectedly tender—and honest—coming-of-age tale.
An engaging fantasy story about letting go of the past and learning to love oneself.”
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The Three Graces Book Launch Reviews
By Marcia Meier
“Michele Wolfe’s lovely debut novel, The Three Graces, takes readers on a wonderful journey with the three protagonists to understanding and wholeness. Jessie, Isabel and Sara meet in a class during their senior year of college in Colorado, and quickly discover they share strange and frightening out-of-reality experiences. When the three decide to travel to California’s Central Coast and visit Hearst Castle on break, they have an extraordinary experience with a statue on the grounds – the Three Graces. These three deities – Brilliance, Joy and Bloom – guide Jessie, Isabel and Sara as they come into their own and discover their unique gifts. The Three Graces is sure to become a great book club read. For any young woman who has struggled to understand her path, The Three Graces will show the way.”
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By Andrea Buginsky
“The Three Graces is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It was so emotional on multiple levels, and had me feeling indescribable emotions of my own throughout the book.
The storyline features two sets of characters: Jessie, Isabel and Sara, three college girls in their early twenties who meet in a humanities class. They are assigned a project to choose an art piece from a specific period of time. While doing their research to choose the project, they come across The Three Graces, a beautiful statue of three goddesses, daughters of Zeus, who touch the girls the moment they see the picture.
Throughout the book, the reader is also introduced to the Three Graces, Bloom, Joy, and Brilliance, through various time periods as the statue moves from place to place.
When the two groups of girls finally meet, something magical happens that touches all six women in ways they can’t describe.
I was so touched by this book, and the sets of stories of each of the girls, as well as the goddesses. The girls each go through some very heady life changes, and begin to come-of-age and learn more about themselves than ever before. They deal with a lot of emotional issues they’ve carried around with them since their childhood, and are finally able to start working through them with the help of each other and the Three Graces.
This book was magical, mysterious, touching, emotional, and just…amazing. I definitely recommend it to readers in their older teens and up. Fair warning: Once you pick it up, you may not be able to put it down.”
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By Jennifer Silverwood