'In Love'...'Love'-is there a difference between the state and the feeling, the emotion, as we understand them?
THE TRIPLE GODDESS is a novel about 'In Love'. About an obsession with the idea of one girl, one woman. It is three stories-the first, historical fiction; the second, Arcadian fantasy; the third, science fiction; all presented in a unifying context of traditional fairy tale.
It is a novel in three parts: history rediscovered in the present; a battle against the worst kind of evil in an English village; a terrifying vision of the future as the end of the world approaches...each 'starring' three women who are the same person: the Triple Goddess of classical mythology made flesh...
...three mysterious drop-dead gorgeous women whose original was lost to reality, like Orpheus's Eurydice, or Dante's Beatrice...but not lost to the imagination that keeps her alive upon the page for whoever wishes to possess her...
...the sort of girl whom one thinks about, dreams about, reads about-as Don Quixote did his Dulcinea-every day, every night, until the day one dies: a mind-stalking reality in thought.
Arbella Stace is a drop-dead gorgeous, aimless, bored, twenty-one year old, a descendant of Arbella Stuart, cousin to Mary Queen of Scots, who lives alone on the top floor of her father's Eaton Square mansion. Arbella is so beautiful and charismatic, like Max Beerbohm's Zuleika Dobson, that in her workplace a young group follows her around.
Arising from a childhood obsession with the Tower of London, the former royal palace that she dreams of occupying and defending against a vexed present-day King James III, Arbella is drawn into an Elizabethan historical drama at the Tower of London; and reconnecting with an unconsummated love affair that has survived the centuries, between her namesake Arbella Stuart and Wat Ralegh, the elder son of Sir Walter Ralegh, his favourite, who was killed in a skirmish in Guiana against the Spanish in an expedition led by his father, the Elizabethan knight, soldier, adventurer, explorer, poet, and historian.
Arbella Stuart was imprisoned at the Tower of London, at the same time as Sir Walter Ralegh, because she was a possible figurehead contender for Elizabeth I's throne-a cause that Ralegh supported.
Unbeknownst to the general populace, Sir Walter Ralegh is still occupying his apartment in the Bloody tower, owing to the immunity to mortality that he acquired from ingesting his own Great Cordial, or Elixir, of eternal life, which Ralegh had diverted himself with trying to concoct during his incarceration, using herbs gleaned from his famous expeditions to Guiana...the efficaciousness of which was not proven until Sir Walter discovered that he had survived his execution...
THE TRIPLE GODDESS is a modern day Arabian Nights' Entertainments of magical diversions that never quite end, and stories within the story. It is a book to get lost in, or to read a page or a chapter at a time, and to reread; a battleship of Swiftian social satire, floating on an ocean of irony, amidst a flotsam of Alice in Wonderland nonsense, and comical and wry and black humour.
But always glimmering on the horizon is tenderness, romance, and thinking so wishful that every imaginative word makes fact pale before truth.