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The Three Graces

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781408714683

Price: £18.99

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‘Hugely entertaining’


‘She’s such a skilful storyteller who vividly dramatises our lives with wit, wisdom and compassion’

‘I revelled in The Three Graces – such an intriguing cast, so convincingly presented, and a narrative that continually surprises’

‘A brilliant piece of storytelling… it should be the book everybody’s reading this summer’

‘Gorgeous and generous… rich with characters and suffused with sunlight’

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 husband, Lord Evenlode, who is living with dementia, and looking back over a long and troubled marriage.

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.


I absolutely LOVED The Three Graces. It's about Tuscany and Umbria and Italy and immigration and ageing and generational divides and art and beauty and music and suffering and love and joy and life. It's bursting with compassion and wisdom. Do treat yourself. We could all do with more beauty, compassion and joy
Christina Patterson
Clever plotting, memorable characters and a completely satisfying ending
Jojo Moyes
Craig's ambitious, masterly novel reveals the darkness that lies behind the E.M. Forster-esque vistas without ever losing control of the fast-paced story at hand
Francesca Peacock, Mail on Sunday
I love Amanda Craig's work, always supercharged with bright colouration and passionate feeling. And her imagination seems boundless: a defiant, bubbling wellspring of free-wheeling enquiry in a literary landscape made more and more arid and monotonous
Rose Tremain
This is such an enjoyable book. If you have ever wondered what it would be like to live in Tuscany instead of passing through in a drunken haze - read this pronto
Daisy Goodwin, author of Diva
People talk about the infirmities of old age, but what about the firmities? What about the beliefs, the events, the politics, the odd secret? The Three Graces is a brilliant piece of storytelling that revels in the world of expat old ladies in Tuscany, and it should be the book everybody's reading this summer. The setting's idyllic, the air is mild in May, but there's a threat of England and family histories just beyond the horizon. It's a novel E.M. Foster would've loved.
Andrew O’Hagan, author of Mayflies
Thoroughly enjoyable... Craig's continuing interest in exposing the fault lines of class, wealth and the inequality of opportunity is striking
Alex Clark, Observer
I revelled in The Three Graces - such an intriguing cast, so convincingly presented, and a narrative that continually surprises. The Tuscan backdrop is illuminating, the apposition between old and young so persuasively displayed. A terrific read.
Penelope Lively
Enjoyable and provocative... The novel is both easy and challenging, romantic and realistic. Its success lies in the ever-present tension between light and dark. These three graces turn out to be more Caravaggio than Botticelli
Emily Rhodes, Spectator
Witty, sharp-eyed, ridiculously enjoyable... Craig is too clever a storyteller to allow herself to be skewered as neatly as her characters are
Christobel Kent, Guardian
We're back in the dreamy Tuscan hills... the story gets into its stride, satisfyingly tying up loose ends and building to a spectacular wedding scene
Kate Green, Country Life
Gorgeous and generous... rich with characters and suffused with sunlight. It has so much to say on age - the three graces of the title are all over eighty; wonderful to have elderly characters, so usually marginal, right at the centre of the plot
Lissa Evans, author of Old Baggage
Witty and timely... Alongside the fantastic cast and characters, Craig has lots to say about issues of the day
Good Housekeeping
Multilayered, full of discreet wisdom and wit... [a] most ingeniously plotted and ultimately satisfying novel. There's much more to it than just readability
A thought-provoking, five-star ride with plenty to appeal to all generations
Devon Life
I loved The Three Graces... the combination of three "mature" central characters, the extended families spread over several generations and the way so many modern issues were reflected against a classical, Mediterranean backdrop make it Amanda Craig's most resonant book yet, a brilliant examination of modern life set against the sunshine of ancient Tuscany
Anthony Horowitz
A witty and perceptive writer with a line line in figuration... Craig is loyal to her creations... and to her topics, which are given a fresh perspective by the Italian setting : intergenerational differences, the death of local communities and global migration. They elevate her from a state-of-the-nation to a state-of-Europe novelist
Daily Telegraph
While The Three Graces doesn't shy away from the grim social and economic realities facing 21st-century Europe, it's still great, fizzy fun and a perfect holiday read
Helen Brown, Perspective
[A] rambunctious state-of-the-nation caper from Craig... The impending nuptials for the clearly disastrously ill-matched hedge-funder and his influencer girlfriend spark all manner of highly-enjoyable chaos and conflict among the sprawling guestlist. Great spiky fun.
As ever, the binary oppositions of modern Britain are compassionately dissected through the various tangled relationships of her sprawling cast... Craig wears her satire lightly, even delightfully at times
Claire Allfree, Daily Mail
Hugely entertaining
Craig's warmth and attention to detail means the characters are fully formed and compelling
Jewish Chronicle
The plotting is intricate and the themes are big, yet the book's special quality comes from something else: a friendship between three octogenarian women whose thoughtful preoccupations with the past, the present and each other form the novel's charming centre
Kathy O'Shaughnessy, Literary Review