The Grace of the Ginkgo

Book Cover


1980s & '90s

michael r hardesty

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The Grace of the Ginkgo chronicles the 24-year relationship of David Foley, a curmudgeon-like atheist, and his adopted granddaughter, Liesl, who is orphaned at birth. From hope to despair, humor to poignacy, performing arts to violence, "Ginkgo" is an emotional roller-coaster for readers.


Drama, Family,

Short Summary

Foley's only son, an army officer, is killed in Saudi Arabia by a terrorist, leaving a pregnant widow in Louisville. Devastated, a divorced Foley leaves Boston to move to Kentucky and live near his coming granddaughter, his only relative. When the mother dies at childbirth, Foley adopts the child.


Louisville, KY & Boston, MA

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Internal Journey/Rebirth

Plot - Other Elements

Meaningful Message, Philosophical Questions, Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Language/Profanity, Nudity

Main Character Details

Name: David Foley is a successful Boston businessman and an avowed non-believer, who often wears his atheism on his sleeve. Though his entrepreneurial skills have him living comfortably, his only loving relationship is with his only child, Patrick. When Patrick is murdered as a young adult, David is despondent, to the point of considering suicide. The thought of his eminent granddaughter gives him hope for a semblance of family life and love, so he gives up urbanity and success in the Northeast, for proximity to granddaughter Liesl, retirement, and the slower pace of Mid-south Kentucky. David is also a patron of the performing arts and he and Liesl share this love often as the story unfolds.

Age: 50

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Outspoken, Sarcastic, Sophisticated, Unapologetic, Charming, Educated, Engaging, Insecure, Aggressive, Complex, Confident, Honorable

Additional Character Details

Name: Granddaughter Liesl is sweet, sensible and thoughtful. Sheis successful in school and though there's a hitch or two, she loves David unreservedly.

Age: 20

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Aspiring, Faithful, Obedient, Leader, Romantic, Beautiful, Charming, Educated, Empathetic, Gracious, Honorable

Additional Character Details

Name: Justine Colgate is a wealthy, divoreced classical musician, who plays the French horn in the Louisville Orchestra. She and David initially have a torris, soaring romance that eventually turns to a warm, grounded, loving relationship. She and David never marry, but remain together until the end. Her sophistication intrigues and enamors David, but it also provides ballast for his sometimes unorthodox behavior.

Age: 45

Gender: Female

Role: Logical

Key Traits: Educated, Faithful, Gracious, Honorable, Sophisticated, Charming, Confident, Engaging, Romantic, Strong Moral Code, Beautiful, Complex

Additional Character Details

Name: Madonna Maddox is the devoutly Catholic sister of Liesl's deceased mother. She provides a foil for David and their polar religeous views make sparks fly early. Madonna is initially dead-set against David becoming Liesl's guardian and lets that fact be known. David scoffs at her lifestyle in that she has seven homeschooled children and God himself is a big part of family life within the Maddox clan. David eventually realizes the loving and wholesome skill Madonna has as matriarch of a beautiful and moral family. Their tenacious feuding melts into mutual respect and their antithetical feelings for the other lightens into a more comedic rivalry.

Age: 40

Gender: Female

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Honorable, Outspoken, Faithful, Manipulative, Religious, Skillful, Strong Moral Code, Aggressive, Blunt, Confident

About The Author

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Old Stone Press

Year Published: 2016

Hard Copy Available



Information not completed