A NovelBook - 1999
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.