The Aphrodite Pursuit
Four friends join forces on a search for an enigmatic Greek artifact. But the true prize of their quest carries a value they can't foresee. The wisdom of nature is their key to success, but any adventure carries a price. Danger stalks them, triumph is elusive, and time is slipping away. Nobody lives forever... More
The four friends in this Contemporary Fiction story of love, adventure, and mysticism share a common thread--each of their lives is incomplete. Dan and Lisa Rockfield's business successes have left them hungry for something different, Parker Roberts' life has stagnated after his wife’s accidental death, and Erin Janson, an ambitious marine researcher, lacks the interpersonal skills necessary for a well-rounded life. An unusual series of events, precipitated by nature, bring the four together and they embark on an adventure to find a long-lost statue of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The statue was lost in the mid-eighteenth century by an exploration ship off the West Coast of America after being discovered on the Oregon coast.
The statue's existence, an enigma both then and now, provides the basis of one of the subplots, a touching story of Prince Henry the Navigator, the factual leader of Portugal's far-reaching exploration efforts during the Fifteenth Century. We find that Prince Henry was responsible for placing the statue on the Northwest coast long before historians thought possible.
The other subplot highlights the Navajo Elder Sam Yazzie. Yazzie spent a summer many years ago teaching the young Dan Rockfield the ways of Yazzie’s ancestors – the ways to “walk in beauty”. Yazzie plays a mystical role throughout the story, foreseeing the chance meeting of the four in an unusual vision as the story opens, then foretelling various events and playing an active, although remote, role in their outcome.
The four friends combine their knowledge, skills, and resources to locate and retrieve the statue from the sea floor off the Southern California coast. An unscrupulous group of shadowy characters also wants the statue. The antagonists provide several challenges for the four, eventually attempting to commandeer the friends’ boat just as they recover the statue from the depths. The four make a desperate run for a nearby island, seeking safety and badly needed medical help for a seriously wounded Parker. The pirates pursue them but are foiled by a Coast Guard helicopter and the unselfish efforts of two Samaritans. Sam Yazzie’s mystical powers play a decisive role in the friends’ dramatic rescue.
Parker’s life is saved and the friends authenticate the statue as a true artifact. The four complete their odyssey with a journey to the Navajo Reservation. With help, the four understand one of the most important lessons of their lives – the way to truly “walk in beauty”. We see that the events of the story are a journey to this realization, and see how seemingly chance events of nature have driven the four friends to significantly influence the lives of many people in a beautiful way.
Nature plays a role throughout the story as a “living character”, influencing the actions, moods, and states of affairs that affect the main characters. The overall theme touches on the patterns of life that govern us all, and the roles that chance and friendship play as circumstances and lives unfold and intertwine. The story also examines the importance of character and trust. 80,000 words.