Book Reviews of The Saving Graces

The Saving Graces
The Saving Graces
Author: Patricia Gaffney
ISBN-13: 9780060598327
ISBN-10: 0060598328
Publication Date: 3/30/2004
Pages: 416
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 68

3.9 stars, based on 68 ratings
Publisher: Perennial
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

80 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Saving Graces on + 137 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
The Saving Graces is an excellent story, well written, with good characterization. The plot is straightforward, with a little twist. I never put this book down. The strong theme of enduring friendships of women runs throughout the tale.
reviewed The Saving Graces on
Helpful Score: 1
I would recommend this book especially for women. Very touching moments between friends.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Good "chick" book about friendship between four women over a period of ten years and how they grow together.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 141 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Meet the saving graces, four of the best friends a woman can ever have.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 371 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A enjoyable story about the power of womens' friendships.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 64 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book hooks you from the very first page. I was intrigued by the four women and wanted to know more about each of their individual stories. Ultimately, each of the women goes through her own personal crisis and finds comfort and support within the circle of the four "Saving Graces" members. Excellent book from beginning to end!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 106 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This seemed like a slow start for me to read but it also could have been the mood I was in when I read it. The book did end up being a very fun book to read and a very serious one at times too - I related to all 4 women the story was in about - in some way or another. I really like the writing style of this author and will read more by her, a good book to read.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The Saving Graces is a story of four very different women and the bonds between them. Loved this book and the characters
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A good story of long-lasting friendship Great Girlfriend book!!!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent novel about friendship between 4 very different women; thieir support of each other through life's ups/downs. Great story-great writing.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was our book club selection. Interesting discussion!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A nice girlie book. Four women and the experiences they have shared over a number of years.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This ode to friendships between women could easily become the northern version of Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. Rich, loively, an intimate portrait of friendships through the eyes of four unforgettable women. I hated to put it down!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book!! One of my favorites!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
...a beautiful tale of four woman whose deep affection keeps them together through the changing tides of life. It is a toast to women.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This kind of book really grabs me... It's a story of a great friendship between four women, intermittently told from each's vantage point. As epic, petty, horrifying, and silly as real life--and ultimately a reminder of the all the things that really matter. Great read!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book will make you long for the type of friendships Gaffney has created. I was not able to put the book down in certain parts, but in others, the story seemed to drag. Some supporting characters are painted too broadly. Still a good read!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Really sounded like a book I would love, but I didn't...and I really tried. I finished it but only because it's what I do. Even as it wrapped up, I had very little interest in what happened to them. Personally, I don't feel the author helped me to get to know them very well or care about them. I didn't feel they had any depth. I wouldn't recommend this book.

Note: I just read all the other reviews and I have to admit that I am flabbergasted. Wow. I did NOT get that at all from this book.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 141 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A sweet book about female friendship and love. It tells of friendship, with its compassion and impatience. The women characters in the book are real and honest, if imperfect.
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Great story of friendship
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 4 more book reviews
In a word.....Excellent! 4 women come together and form a club but it is a unique experience for them.They share their lives with each other for 10 years .Then the unthinkable happens to the group....
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 80 more book reviews
Great vacation read!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 23 more book reviews
I've tried several books by Gaffney and they all fall far short of this one. The characters are easy to identify with and the story lines weave together to make this an enjoyable story. I've sent several copies to friends and used it for my choice at a book club.
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Good escapist chick lit!
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I enjoyed this book about friendship. It started out a little slow, but I am glad I stayed with it. At different times I could relate to each of the characters. It was amazing how they all came from different walks of life, yet became as close as sisters. We should all be so lucky to form friendships like these. Even though this was a fictional book, I do believe it is possible to form these types of bonds. This is my first Patricia Gaffney book and I recommend it to others.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 63 more book reviews
A great summer read.
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Four friends face life together. A great summer read.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 37 more book reviews
For ten years, Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel have shared a deep affection that has helped them deal with 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 accptance - 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, Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel will not be prepared for a crisis of astounding proportions that will put their love and courage to the ultimate test.
reviewed The Saving Graces on
A terrific story of female friendships and all it can survive... & still florish.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 22 more book reviews
Fabulous book. Probably in my TOP FIVE!!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 10 more book reviews
For ten years, Emma, Rudy, Lee and Isabel have shared a deep affection that has helped them deal with 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...
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 143 more book reviews
Beautiful, dramatic and a satisfying read on a rainy night or a lazy warm afternoon.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 16 more book reviews
A portrayal of the friendship of four unforgettable women.
Anyone who has ever raised a glass to toast her women friends will love this book.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 10 more book reviews
I loved this book! It made me laugh and cry, and reminded me to treasure my friends, and to live life to the fullest. Excellent read!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 293 more book reviews
Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel have shared a deep affection that has helped them deal wtih 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, Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel will not be propared for a crisis of astounding proportions that wil put their love and courage to the ultimate test.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 126 more book reviews
Enjoyed this authors portrayal of womens friendships. This is the first book I have read by this author.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 42 more book reviews
one of my favorites. the book is a little worn on outside edge. 4 best friends that call themselves the saving graces have been together through ups and downs for 10 years. Though these sisters of heart and soul haave seen it all, talked through it all, they will not be preparded for a crisis of astounding proportions that will put their love and courage to the ultimate test.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 9 more book reviews
A great beach read!
reviewed The Saving Graces on
This would be a great book club selection. They each have their own distinct personalities and have some great experiences together. This would be a fun summer read.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 2 more book reviews
I read this book many time because I can relate to little bit of all 4 women. It will make you smile, misty and angry with frustration. Really good book about friendship among women.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 636 more book reviews
I enjoyed this chick lit novel aimed towards more middle-aged women. It was a nice story of four women who are all friends. It was a little _Sex and the City_-ish, but more mature and less humourous, but overall, it was entertaining and it was nice how each chapter came from a different P.O.V. It would be a good book for a book club.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 32 more book reviews
I'll post one of the quotes on the back of this book, because I totally agree with it:

"Rich, Lovely...An intimate portrayal of friendships through the eyes of four unforgettable women. I hated to put it down!"
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 2 more book reviews
A very fun read! Great girlfriend story; easy to believe: not too sappy; some serious, some funny parts. I read it w/my bookclub. Everyone can find themselves in one of the "Graces". Interesting where title comes from. Enjoy!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 104 more book reviews
My favorite subject for a book.....enduring friendship between women!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 61 more book reviews
Great light reading
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 57 more book reviews
All women in their 40s can see themselves in at least one of these characters.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 33 more book reviews
the story of love, loyalty and courage of four women that is put to the ultimate test
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 19 more book reviews
This was a really enjoyable book on friendship between women. Not ding dongs in their 20's, but women with lives happening around them. A very good read.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 61 more book reviews
A good summer read I loved it!
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 657 more book reviews
A debut book; hardback. Quoting Amazon.com:
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
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 109 more book reviews
* paperback edition
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 3 more book reviews
One of the best literary descriptions of the depths of female friendship....a must read.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 2 more book reviews
I absolutely loved this book. I like the way author writes about four distingtively different women whose lives are intertwined. Total tear jerker also.
reviewed The Saving Graces on
It was a slow start, but a fantastic book by the end. Great for book clubs!
reviewed The Saving Graces on
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.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 366 more book reviews
First time I've read anything by this author. Thoroughly enjoyed the story. Very realistic and could relate to characters well. Well written story that had me laughing out loud at times and in tears at others. Explores the intimate relationship between four friends and their bonds of support and love through triumphs and tragedies.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 3 more book reviews
Great Book
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A great novel of deep friendships between 4 women!
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Loved the book. A great beach read.
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Loved this book
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This was such a great read! I love "women's friendship" books and this was a real tear-jerker in the end. I would highly recommend it.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 164 more book reviews
For 10 years, Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel have shared a deep affection that has helped them deal with 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, Emma, Rudy, Lee, and Isabel will not be prepared for a crisis of astounding proportions that will put their love and courage to the ultimate test.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 26 more book reviews
it's about 3 women who have known each for a long time and have developed a very good relationship. they stand by one another thru thick and thin.

very good
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 23 more book reviews
Good story of a group of women. Kinda of a Yankee version of Steel Magnolias or Yaya Sisterhood.
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 22 more book reviews
A story of four friends that will make you laugh and cry
reviewed The Saving Graces on + 5 more book reviews
Loved it!
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an intimate portrayal of friendships through thr eyes of 4 unforgettable women. the northern version of ya ya sisterhood.
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A light easy read. I just picked this up at a library sale. It's not in mint condition (a little bit of one corner of the cover is torn), but the book itself is in good condition.
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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 a book no reader will forget-a story to be passed from friend to friend.
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Definate tear jerker about best friends.
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Great book - good summer/light reading
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long-time friendship of 4 women - facing crisis with love, courage, honesty and acceptance
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I have not read Gaffney before but I was pleasantly surprised. The characters are strong and the best part of the novel is that each woman is able to tell her story in her own words.
strial -carpeted Rudy's battle with depression and a controlling husband and the way she believes she needs to be saved is a lesson for many of us. The graces "save" her by letting her know she can "save" herself and does not need to be enveloped by a husband who diminishes her. Isabel has the strongest voice in her stoicism in her pain. She describes the diagnostic cancer ward as "I've discovered purgatory. Not hell--it's too boring. Purgatory is low--lit and industrial--carpeted, mauve-walled, library-quiet...It's called the Diagnostic Imaging Center." this is an example of the descriptive words Gaffney uses to paint a picture of Isabel's outlook on her malady.

"Life's a circle, not a straight line, the longer the better. The circle never ends, it only widens." This may be a "chick lit" book; however, I think some of the insightful words like those above reflect the struggles and triumphs of each woman. Gaffney's book ranks higher on the chain of the "beach reads."
reviewed The Saving Graces on
This book is primarily for women. It is a book about the lives of four friends and what happens to them and how it impacts the others. This was one of the best books I have read for a while. It sincerely touched me.
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Great book
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very good, Liked it a lot.
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Meet the Saving Graces, four of the best friends a woman could ever have.

The ode to the friendships between women could easily become the northerrn version of DIVINE SECRETS OF THE YA-YA SISTERHOOD!! -- Booklist review

Anyone who's ever raised a glass to toast her women friends will love this book--its raw emotion, its rueful humor, its life lessons--Times-Picayune
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National bestweller, the Saving Graces, 4 of the best friends a woman can ever have, for 10 years Emma, Rudy, Lee & Isabel have shared......
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From a non-smoking home.