She was shimmering silver, small enough to fit in the palm of his hand. He took possession of her on an impulse—never knowing that she was more than just a trinket who might fetch a pretty price in a pawnshop at the next port. Then a thunderous explosion rocked the ship—and in mere minutes, so many fates were changed…--Three Fates by Nora Roberts, Copyright ©2002 by Nora Roberts, published by Putnam Books
When the Lusitania sank, more than a thousand people died. One passenger who survived became a changed man, giving up his life as a petty thief—though keeping the small silver statue he lifted, a family heirloom to future generations. Now, nearly a century later, that statue, one of a priceless, long-separated set of three, has been snatched from the Sullivans. And Malachi, Gideon, and Rebecca Sullivan are determined to recover their great-great-grandfather’s treasure, reunite the Three Fates, and make their fortune.
The quest will take them far from their home in Ireland: To Helsinki, where Malachi seeks out Tia Marsh, a formidable American scholar whose privileged background, sharp mind, and authoritative knowledge of Greek mythology mask a fragile, fear-plagued woman within, and whose family is an important link to the mysterious missing statue. To Prague, where a bold exotic dancer named Cleo will enchant Gideon Sullivan—and embark on a gamble to turn her life around. And to New York, where security expert Jack Burdett joins the Sullivans in their fight against an ambitious woman who will stop at nothing to acquire the Fates.
Why? Why? Why?
Why did I read this book for—no joke—the third time? Or was it the fourth?
If I was to draw up a list of my ten absolute-favorite books, this book would be Number One. Numbers Two through Ten are up in the air, but Number One—hands down—is Three Fates.
I love this book not just for the wonderfully told story, but the wonderful way in which it is told. As a reader, I would tell you that the story involves seven people, six working against one, all in pursuit of the same goal. As a writer, I love the intricate plot and the myriad of story lines that weave its structure.
The stars of the story are Three Fates, a trio of small silver statues depicting Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos, the three sisters of Greek Mythology who weave, measure and cut the thread that measures each of our lives. The Sullivans, Malachi, Gideon and Rebecca inherited one of the statues which had actually been stolen by one of their ancestors on the Lusitania right before it sank in 1915.
Unaware of its value, Malachi took the statue to renown antiques expert Anita Gaye. Anita, recognizing the statue for what it is, employs her feminine wiles and steals the statue from him. Determined to get it back, the Sullivans hatch a plan to find the other two and sell them to Anita for the millions of dollars that they’re worth.
Malachi goes to work on Dr. Tia Marsh, who is in Helsinki on a lecture tour promoting her new book. She’s also an expert in Greek mythology and a descendant of Henry Wiley, the original owner of Clotho, the statue his great-great-grandfather stole. Gideon heads to Prague to track down Cleo Tolliver, the descendant of the owner of Lachesis. They think to get ahead of Anita, but they don’t realize that Anita is already ahead of them. Tia’s hotel room is trashed, forcing Malachi to abandon his plans. Cleo’s apartment gets the same treatment and Gideon and Cleo go on the run across Europe.
Anita consults with her security expert, Jack Burdette. He’s also a collector and she attempts to pump him for information about the Fates. Almost immediately afterward, Jack heads for Ireland to meet the remaining Sullivans, Rebecca and her mother Eileen. He also stops off at his great-grandfather’s home to pick up the third Fate, Atropos. Anita, of course, has no idea that Atropos belongs to Jack’s family.
Uniting through various circumstances in New York, the six form a team to figure out a way to bring Anita down. Not only do they want the stolen Fate back, they want Anita to pay for all her crimes. And pay she will, in ways she can’t begin to imagine.
I love the structure of the story because as you read it, you can see the individual stories—threads, if you will—and how they weave and mesh together to form an intricate storyline. Not only do their present lives mesh, but so do the histories of their families and everything connects back to three silver statues. You can see it all, and it all is easy to follow. That’s what I love about this story, and I’m sure, a few years from now, I’ll be reading it again. And I’ll enjoy it as much as I did the first time I read it.
I give this story FIVE STARS.