Circle of Three: A Novel

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9780061098369: Circle of Three: A Novel

“Gaffney’s characters are appealing and realistic...Readers will race through this book.”
New Orleans Times Picayune

“Poignant....Entertaining....As good as it gets.”
New York Post

No other author writes about the lives and friendships of women with more warmth and grace than New York Times bestseller Patricia Gaffney.  A true master of women’s fiction, with Circle of Three she flourishes the same breathtaking characterization and storytelling skills that made her previous novel, The Saving Graces, a readers’ favorite. The story of a woman grieving for her losses and her life, and her relationship with her overbearing mother and precocious young daughter, Circle of Three focuses on three generations of a troubled family, the anger and misunderstanding that separates them...and the love that holds them together. Gaffney does beautifully what Elizabeth Berg, Anne Rivers Siddons, and Anne Tyler also do so well: exploring the tricky bonds of family in novels both heart-soaring and heartbreaking.

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Product Description:

Newly widowed, Carrie is overwhelmed by the guilt of knowing her marriage died long before her husband's fatal heart attack. Struggling to go on for the sake of her teenaged daughter, Ruth, and her overly possessive mother, Dana, Carrie slowly emerges from the sorrow that has embraced her and begins to pull her life together, with help from an unexpected source. Jess, Carrie's first love, re-enters her world and offers her the lifeline that will help her pull herself out of the drowning place she's been in.

Inspired with new purpose, and a passion she thought she'd never have again, Carrie must find a way to weave her new life -- and love -- into a family struggling with their own pain and disappointment, who find her newfound happiness a threat to their own precarious balance.

Wise, moving, and heartbreakingly real, Circle of Three offers women a deeper understanding of one another, of themselves, and of the perplexing and invigorating magic that is life itself.

Review:

Patricia Gaffney's remarkable talent for describing the bittersweet connections between mothers and daughters makes the novel Circle of Three a mesmerizing study of three generations of women challenged by their shifting relationships and developing self-identities. With her ability to capture the essence of the timeless conflict of mothers' and daughters' various hopes and frustrations and the overall need for an intense connection with family, Gaffney's novel will appeal to readers of many ages.

The lives of grandmother Dana, mother Carrie, and daughter Ruth are instantly altered by the untimely death of Carrie's husband, Stephen. Having recently returned to her hometown in rural Virginia, Carrie had just begun to recognize and express her dissatisfaction in her bland marriage. Stephen's death tips Carrie into a deep depression, and 15-year-old Ruth feels as if she has lost both her mother and her father. Determined to get Carrie back on track, Dana encourages her to accept a job. As Carrie begins to emerge from her depression, she finds solace in the company of her old flame, Jess, and her work as a wooden menagerie designer for a local religious group called the Arkists. When Carrie refuses to return to her old patterns, both Ruth and Dana struggle to adapt to this change and develop their own new approaches to life.

With moments of quirky humor, realistic dialogue, and classic romance, Circle of Three does a tremendous job of describing the complex and conflicting process of growing up--at any age. This novel is sure to linger in your mind for months and to make the lending rounds between moms, daughters, sisters, and friends. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien

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Gaffney, Patricia
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