The Saving Graces: A Novel

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9780060191924: The Saving Graces: A Novel

Friendship sustains and enriches women's lives in way's no romantic or family relationship ever can. A source of solace, support, and nourishment, it is a tie that powerfully connects woman to woman in unforgettable, joyous, sometimes painful ways. In this wonderfully warm, humorous, and moving novel, Patricia Gaffney paints a rich portrait of this delicate yet resilient bond through the lives of four charming. vividly real women.

For ten years, Emma, Rudy, Lee. and Isabel have shared a deep affection that has helped them deal with husbands, lovers, careers, children -- the ebb and flow of expectations and disappointments common to us all. Calling themselves the Saving Graces, the quartet is united by understanding, honesty, and acceptance--an ephemeral connection that has grown stronger 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't have. For her, the Saving Graces are fall-breakers extraordinaire. She believes that "bad news doesn't hurt as much if you hear it in good company."

A beauty with an extraordinary gift for love and a shaky, dysfunctional past, Rudy is desperately trying to hold on to her deeply troubled marriage. She's not sure where she'd be without the Saving Graces. "I don't know why my friends bother with me, I'm so high-maintenance. I would run if I saw me coming. But they're always so patient and supportive."

Lee, whom they all are sure is "the normal one," longs for a baby. But her overwhelming desire for motherhood threatens to destroy an idyllic marriage. The Saving Graces are the sounding board on which she unburdens her hopes and fears. "I know I'm consumed by our infertility, and that's nor fair to Henry....He says I blame everything that's wrong with my whole life, on the fact that we can't have children. It's true, I know.I'm driving him away."

Isabel, the oldest, is a survivor whose wisdom and strength were forged by the worst trials life can offer. Divorced and free, she's falling for her single, attractive neighbor -- a man she's sure must be gay. Hers is the guiding insight that propels and grounds the Saving Graces. "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."

Though these sisters of the heart and soul have seen it all, talked through it all, Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel will not be prepared for a crisis of astounding proportions that will put their love, loyalty, and courage to the ultimate test. Captivating from first page to last, this mesmerizing story illuminates the emotional links that define and join us as women. While men, jobs, and crises may come and go, nothing lasts like true friendship. Funny, inspirational, joyous, and oh-so-true, The Saving Graces is a novel no reader will forget -- a story to be passed from friend to friend.

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Review:

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

From the Inside Flap:

Friendship sustains and enriches women's lives in ways no romantic or family relationship ever can. Now, in this wonderfully warm, humorous, and moving novel, Patricia Gaffney paints a rich portrait of this sometimes delicate yet resilient bond through the lives of four charming, vividly real women you'll swear you know--women who will become old friends you'll always remember.

For ten years, Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel have shared a deep affection that has helped them deal with husbands, lovers, careers, children--the ebb and flow of expectations and disappointments common to us all. Calling themselves the Saving Graces, the quartet is united by understanding, honesty, and acceptance--a connection that has grown stronger as the years go by...

Though these sisters of the heart and soul have seen it all, talked through it all, they will not be prepared for a crisis of astounding proportions that will put their love, loyalty, and courage to the ultimate test.

Captivating from the first chapter to the last, this mesmerizing story illuminates the emotional links that define and join us as women. Funny, inspirational, joyous, and oh-so-true, The Saving Graces is an audiobook no listener will forget--a story to be passed from friend to friend.

Reader Bio:
Judith Ivey has earned Tony for her work in Hurlyburly and Steaming and an Emmy nomination for the television movie What the Deaf Man Heard. Her many film credits include Devil's Advocate, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and Mystery, Alaska.

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Book Description Harper, 1999. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Friendship sustains and enriches women's lives in way's no romantic or family relationship ever can. A source of solace, support, and nourishment, it is a tie that powerfully connects woman to woman in unforgettable, joyous, sometimes painful ways. In this wonderfully warm, humorous, and moving novel, Patricia Gaffney paints a rich portrait of this delicate yet resilient bond through the lives of four charming. vividly real women. For ten years, Emma, Rudy, Lee. and Isabel have shared a deep affection that has helped them deal with husbands, lovers, careers, children -- the ebb and flow of expectations and disappointments common to us all. Calling themselves the Saving Graces, the quartet is united by understanding, honesty, and acceptance--an ephemeral connection that has grown stronger 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't have. For her, the Saving Graces are fall-breakers extraordinaire. She believes that "bad news doesn't hurt as much if you hear it in good company." A beauty with an extraordinary gift for love and a shaky, dysfunctional past, Rudy is desperately trying to hold on to her deeply troubled marriage. She's not sure where she'd be without the Saving Graces. "I don't know why my friends bother with me, I'm so high-maintenance. I would run if I saw me coming. But they're always so patient and supportive." Lee, whom they all are sure is "the normal one," longs for a baby. But her overwhelming desire for motherhood threatens to destroy an idyllic marriage. The Saving Graces are the sounding board on which she unburdens her hopes and fears. "I know I'm consumed by our infertility, and that's nor fair to Henry.He says I blame everything that's wrong with my whole life, on the fact that we can't have children. It's true, I know. I'm driving him away." Isabel, the oldest, is a survivor whose wisdom and strength were forged by the worst trials life can offer. Divorced and free, she's falling for her single, attractive neighbor -- a man she's sure must be gay. Hers is the guiding insight that propels and grounds the Saving Graces. "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." Though these sisters of the heart and soul have seen it all, talked through it all, Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel will not be prepared for a crisis of astounding proportions that will put their love, loyalty, and courage to the ultimate test. Captivating from first page to last, this mesmerizing story illuminates the emotional links that define and join us as women. While men, jobs, and crises may come and go, nothing lasts like true friendship. Funny, inspirational, joyous, and oh-so-true, The Saving Graces is a novel no reader will forget -- a story to be passed from friend to friend. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0060191929

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