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The Saving Graces: A Novel by Patricia…

The Saving Graces: A Novel (edition 2004)

by Patricia Gaffney

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8791810,083 (3.62)12
Title:The Saving Graces: A Novel
Authors:Patricia Gaffney
Info:Harper Paperbacks (2004), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Saving Graces by Patricia Gaffney



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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
DNF-donated Wanted to like this one,but Emma kept going on abt Mick draco and I just couldn't take it anymore. ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
For the past decade, four friends - Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel - have shared an abidingly deep affection for each other that has kept them strong. Their friendship has helped them all deal with the ebb and flow of various expectations and disappointments commonly experienced by so many women. Calling themselves the 'Saving Graces', this quartet is united by understanding, honesty, and acceptance - interweaving bonds of familiarity that have only strengthened as the years go by...

Emma, a sharp-tongued, soft-hearted skeptic, doesn't believe in love - until she meets the one man she can never have. For her, the Saving Graces have become the fall-breakers extraordinaire. She firmly believes that, "bad news doesn't hurt as much if you hear it in good company."

A stunning beauty with an extraordinary capacity for love and a shaky, dysfunctional past, Rudy is desperately trying to hold on to her deeply troubled marriage. She has always viewed her friendship with the Saving Graces as truly life-affirming. She honestly has no idea where she would be without them all, although she freely acknowledges, "I don't know why my friends bother with me, I'm so high-maintenance. I would run if I saw me coming."

Lee, whom everyone else is certain is "the normal one", longs to have a child of her own. Yet her overwhelming desire for motherhood threatens to destroy an otherwise idyllic marriage. The Saving Graces are the sounding board on which she unburdens all her hopes and fears. She fears that her inability to have children will eventually become an obsession for her, "I know I'm consumed by our infertility, and that's not fair to Henry...He says I blame everything that's wrong with us, everything that's wrong with my whole life, on the fact that we can't have children."

Isabel, as the oldest member of the quartet, is a true survivor. Someone whose wisdom and strength were forged by her experiences of some of the worst trials life can possibly offer. Hers is the guidance and practical insight that propels and grounds the Saving Graces. Hers is the quiet, yet equally sustaining 'voice of reason' to which everyone listens.

Her view of the Saving Graces is profoundly simple: "We're all productive, tolerably sane, functioning adults, we Graces, with no more emotional baggage - well, except for Rudy - than you would expect in a random sampling of aging yuppie women. And yet our childhoods were disasters. Occasionally, we four play the intriguing 'What keeps us together?' game, and the fact that we all survived our childhoods is mentioned early and often."

Although these four sisters of the heart and soul have seen it all, as well as talked through it all; nothing can possibly prepare them for what comes next. Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel will each face a crisis of such astounding proportions that the strength of the bonds of love, loyalty, courage, and friendship that these remarkable women share, will ultimately be tested like never before. Captivating from first page to last, this mesmerizing story illuminates the emotional links that define and join us together as women.

The Saving Graces: A Novel by Patricia Gaffney poignantly illustrates just how friendship sustains and enriches women's lives in unique ways - ways no romantic or family relationship ever can. Seen by many as a source of solace, support, and spiritual nourishment, friendship is a tie that powerfully connects women to each other in unforgettable, joyous, sometimes painful ways. While men, jobs, and crises may come and go, nothing lasts like true friendship.

This is actually the second time that I have read this book - the first time that I read it was approximately ten to fifteen years ago. I must say that I enjoyed it just as much the second time as I did when I first read the book. I have always found Ms. Gaffney's writing style to be highly evocative and tremendously sensitive to her audience. Her characterizations are always deeply grounded in reality; they are sympathetic, yet also very relatable in their respective reactions to certain situations.

I was completely immersed in the story in a relatively short period of time, and quite willingly lost myself in the story of these four remarkable women. I found the book hard to put down and was rooting for the Graces all the way through. I would certainly give this book an A+! and will happily keep it to read again some time soon. ( )
1 vote moonshineandrosefire | May 19, 2016 |
What a lovely book! It focuses on a women's friendship group, narrated in turn by each of the four regular members. It covers two years in their lives, as they suffer various problems and work through them together. Moving and well-written - really four-and-a-half stars! ( )
  SueinCyprus | Jan 26, 2016 |
This is the story of four women who form a women's group in Washington, DC and quickly grow to be close friends. It's not really even clear why they form the group to begin with; they start out discussing "topics" each meeting but soon drop that in favor of just hanging out together. Each of them has a problem, as is common in this type of novel. One has left an unfaithful husband, only to be struck with breast cancer; one has psychological problems and a controlling husband; one is in love with a married man, and both have moral scruples about adultery; and the fourth is infertile. They support each other through all these troubles. The characters are engaging and Gaffney tells the story using multiple points of view (each character "speaks" in turn, chapter by chapter) which is a useful device for this type of story. It was quite enjoyable. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
Excellent story of 4 women and their various trials. Well-written, moving, kept my attention thoroughly once I got into it. Recommended it to many people. ( )
  sakismom | May 19, 2011 |
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Voor Jan, Annie en Marti. Ook voor Carolyn, Jeanne, Jamie, Jodie en Kathleen. En Molly. Bovenal, ter herinnering aan Midge
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If half of all marriages end in divorce, how long does the average marriage last?
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060598328, Paperback)

Unlike the Graces of Greek mythology, the ones in Patricia Gaffney's feel-good novel, The Saving Graces, are not in the business of dispensing charm and beauty. Though they possess some measure of good looks, Gaffney's Graces are more focused on the less ethereal problems of life: men, careers, babies, death. And there are four, rather than three, of them (Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel), who have been getting together for regular dinners in their Washington, D.C., homes for 10 years.

The narration of The Saving Graces rotates among the four women and gets right to the heart of each Grace--the stories they tell stick close to the territory of their emotional lives. This intimate directness makes Gaffney's women seem, well, womanly. Serene Isabel, who has always been "the best champion, the kindest friend" to all the other Graces, is dying of breast cancer. Rudy needs to leave her ultra-controlling husband. Lee, usually the rational one, is possessed by her desire to have a baby. Ironic Emma wants to write a novel and has a hard crush on a married man. This group feels messy and real: they keep secrets from each other, grate on one another's nerves, and analyze each other. But ultimately, all four know that they've lucked into a very good thing. Not just because they share the sweetness and silliness that comes with friendship, but also because they are willing to act as soldiers for each other. When Rudy finally gets up the nerve to leave her husband, for example, she doesn't do it alone: "Isabel stood on my right, Lee on my left. Emma had taken a seat on the bed--an escalation of the offense, usurping more enemy territory." In Gaffney's universe, women armed with grace, humor, and a couple of good girlfriends can transcend even the most painful events in their lives. --Katherine Anderson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:22 -0400)

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Four women in Washington meet regularly for dinner and support. One is searching for a husband, a second cannot get pregnant, a third is seeing a therapist, while the fourth is dying from cancer. A tale of sisterhood.

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