A MOVING NOVEL ABOUT THREE GENERATIONS OF WOMEN BY THE AUTHOR OF THE SAVING GRACES.
PATRICIA GAFFNEY ILLUMINATES THE SILKEN BONDS OF FAMILY THROUGH THE INTERCONNECTED LIVES OF THREE GENERATIONS OF WOMEN IN A SMALL TOWN IN RURAL VIRGINIA.
"CAN GRIEF LAST FORA PERSON'S WHOLE LIFE?" THAT IS THE QUESTION CARRIE STRUGGLES TO ANSWER AFTER THE SUDDEN DEATH OF HER HUSBAND. SHE ALSO MOURNS THE DEATH OF THEIR LOVE--AN EMOTIONAL EROSION HAT BEGAN LONG BEFORE HER HUSBAND'S HEART GAVE OUT.
COMPLICATING MATTERS IS CARRIE'S MOTHER, DANA, A SNOBBISH YET SYMPATHETIC WOMAN WHO TRIES TO DO WHAT SHE THINKS BEST. DANA, TOO, MOURNS A PAINFUL LOSS--DISINTEGRATION OF HER RELATIONSHIP WITH CARRIE. "I'D GIVE ANYTHING FOR THE CLOSENESS WE USED TO HAVE, BUT SHE WON'T LET ME IN."
AT THE END POINT OF THESE TWO GENERATIONS IS CARRIE'S DAUGHTER RUTH, WHO SILENTLY COPES WITH A DOUBLE TRAGEDY OF HER OWN, THE LOSS OF HER FATHER AND THE EMOTIONAL ABANDONMENT OF HER MOTHER. "SHE'S STILL GOT ME, BUT SHE'S ABOUT HALF THE MOTHER I USED TO HAVE."
THROUGH THEIR STORIES, PATRICIA GAFFNEY EXPLORES ALL WOMEN'S RELATIONSHIPS--THE THINGS THAT SOMETIMES DIVIDE THEM, BUT ULTIMATELY BIND THEM TOGETHER. WISE, MOVING, AND HEARTBREAKINGLY REAL, CIRCLE OF THREE CREATES THE PERPLEXING AND INVIGORATING MAGIC THAT IS LIFE ITSELF.
This is a wonderful book about relationships between three generations of women, Carrie, newly widowed and feeling guilty because her marriage had been unraveling for some time prior to her husband's sudden heart attack, Dana, Carrie's mother, who has always been domineering and married to a man she walks all over, and Ruth, Carrie's teen-age daughter, who's trying to deal with her father's death, her mother's guilt and her own growing pains. They make you laugh, cry and at times want to yell at them to 'get a life'. But as they come to terms with each other and sort out their anger and emotions, you can't help but cheer them on. And the ending is very satisfying and totally real. For any woman who has had to deal with mothers and daughters, at some point you'll be able to relate to these women.
Gaffney captures the complexities of women's relationships in this tale of mothers, daughters, and the bonds of love. Newly widowed Carrie - her teenaged daughter, Ruth - her overly possessive mother, Dana. And Jess, Carrie's first love, who re-enters her world and offers her the lifeline that will help her pull herself out of the drowning place she is in.
After the sudden death of her husband, Carrie struggles with feelings of immense grief and guilt. She silently wonders: "Can grief last for a person's whole life?" For her, these feelings are twofold: Although she mourns the loss of her husband, she also mourns the death of their love - an emotional erosion that occurred long before her husband's heart gave out. Struggling to go on, to support her vivacious, loving fifteen-year-old daughter, Ruth, Carrie must shake off the sorrow and depression that surrounds her and begin a new life. For Ruth, as much as for herself, Carrie will somehow learn to live again.
Complicating matters is Dana - Carrie's mother - an industrious, snobbish, yet sympathetic woman who tries to do what's right for herself and, unfortunately, for Carrie as well. It was fear of her mother's disapproval that drove Carrie away from her unforgotten first love - the soulful, passionate Jess - who has recently re-entered her life.
Little does Carrie realize that her mother suffers secret miseries of her own. For Dana, life is still as mysterious as it was in early youth. Like her only daughter, Dana has lived within the confines of a silent marriage. And, like Carrie, Dana too, mourns a painful loss - the slow disintegration of her relationship with her daughter. Her unspoken wish is: "I'd give anything for the closeness we used to have. I love my daughter more than anyone else on this earth, but she won't let me in."
At the end point of these two generations is Ruth, who silently copes with a double tragedy of her own - the loss of something she can never know - a real relationship with her father - and the emotional abandonment of her mother. Her secret sadness is: "She's still got me, but she's about half the mother I used to have. When Dad died I lost him and part of her. I'm almost an orphan." A precocious girl, quivering on the brink of womanhood, Ruth is eager to discover who she is and what life holds - even if that knowledge will draw her away from the people she loves.
Shining through the interconnected lives of three generations of women in a small town in rural Virginia, this poignant, memorable novel reveals the layers of tradition and responsibility, commitment and passion these women share. Ms. Gaffney explores the dichotomies inherent in all women's relationships - the tears and laughter, despair and hope, misunderstanding and compassion, anger and love - that occasionally divide them yet ultimately bind them together. In Circle of Three, the silken bonds of family are brilliantly illuminated, as are the delicate yet resilient bonds of feminine understanding and friendship.
I absolutely loved this book. I truly became immersed in this story - it was definitely a page-turner; moving and poignant, filled with emotional, well-developed characters with whom I connected deeply. I found myself caught up in the story, wanting to know what happened next. I actually have read this book before - about ten years ago - and while the story was familiar to me in places, I still enjoyed reacquainting myself with these characters. I give Circle of Three: A Novel by Patricia Gaffney an A+!
Great story with great characters... Story of a newly widowed woman overwhelmed by guild of knowing her marriage died long before her hsubands fatal heart attack... struggling to continue on for her daughter's sake, she finds unexpected help from her first love... re-entering the picture and helping her to pull her life back together.
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
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, Carie'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.
The relationships in this book are developed so well, between Carrie and her mother and daughter. It was a bit slow to start, but it gains momentum and really gets good. At the end I was sorry to have it stop.
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 the help of an unexpected source. Jesse, carries's first love, re enters her world and offers her the lifeline that will help her pull herself out of hte drowning place she's been in
Newly widowed, Carrie is overwhelmed by the guilt that her marriage had died long before her husband. She must find a way to weave her new life and love into a family struggling with their own pain and disappointment. Wise, moving and hearbreakingly real, this book offers women a deeper understanding of one another, of themselves and of the magic that is life itself.
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 teenage daughter, Carrie slowly pulls her life together, with help from a unexpected source...............