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Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers
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Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  789 ratings  ·  136 reviews
She charmed America with her smart, likable, down-to-earth personality as she campaigned for her husband, then vice-presidential candidate John Edwards. She inspired millions as she valiantly fought advanced breast cancer after being diagnosed only days before the 2004 election. She touched hundreds of similarly grieving families when her own son, Wade, died tragically at ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 14th 2007 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2006)
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While I admire Elizabeth Edwards for the strength she showed publicly throughout her battle with breast cancer and her husband's infidelities, this book wasn't for me. I'm not sure what I was expecting exactly, but it wasn't Saving Graces.

The first chapter drew me in and I did enjoy reading about her childhood as a military brat, but after that, reading the book became a chore. I finally stopped about halfway through. Losing a child is a tragedy that I wouldn't wish upon any parent, but one or t
Jul 03, 2012 deLille rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who has ever lost a child
Shelves: memoirs
I started reading this book during the John Edwards' trial... this book provides an interesting, albeit one-sided, perspective of how a marriage can unravel while the wife is in complete denial. I noted the first problem arose when Elizabeth sought solace in the computer and Internet chat rooms after the death of her son, Wade. Although understandable, it seemed to me that she spent an inordinate amount of time talking with other people, not her husband, about her innermost feelings of grief. Me ...more
Mary Raihofer
Sep 19, 2008 Mary Raihofer rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in a woman's memoir.
Shelves: currentlyreading
Saving Graces is about Elizabeth Edwards emotional struggle with the impact of her son Wades death and the discovery of the re-occurance of cancer. My motivation for reading the book is to understand the rationale of both her and her husbands pursuit of the presidential nomination. Why undertake such an arduous endeavor when the focus of her life should be on her treatment and recovery from cancer. I am trying to understand the man and what went into making this decision.
The book is well written
Charlotte Handley
I don't know why I was was interested in this book. John Edwards is too liberal for my tastes. Although I did end up voting for Obama. But that's far into the future and so is the saga of Elizabeth and John Edward's marriage. Probably I choose it because my son is way out there liberal and it was something to discuss with him. I know why I finished the book. Elizabeth Edwards is an excellent writer and much of it was joyful to read. Her writing about the death of her 16 year old son was honest a ...more
Shirley beverly
May 22, 2007 Shirley beverly rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
Elizabeth Edwards writes so well about grief. I expecially found her book full of humor, wisdom, and warmth. I do wish her well with her current bout with cancer, she needs to live to become our first lady because she would be a fantastic advisor to a president (as she is a fantastic advisor to anybody who connect with her, I suspect)
Amanda Hiatt
I really enjoyed her story; I picked it up because I found Elizabeth and John's story interesting and close to home for me. I laughed, I cried, I cried some more and I finished the book feeling like I new this woman and her story well. I wish she were running for President!
I heard Elizabeth Edwards on NPR talking about her book the day it came out and found a copy soon after. Now, in light of her husband's infidelity, it seems to ring less true, though it's not her fault. You've got to watch those pretty boys. They can fool you.

From the Publisher

During the 2004 presidential campaign, Elizabeth Edwards gained attention and admiration for her smart, likable, and down-to-earth personality. These qualities shine forth in Saving Graces, a memoir of the trials, triumphs
June’s book club selection. While Edwards’ story was interesting – life with a military father, college, grad school, law school, marriage, children, death of a child, politics, more children, breast cancer – I was a bit disappointed in the writing. This is often my experience with autobiographies. Perhaps it is because the person may not be a trained writer or it may be more difficult to tell one’s own story in a cohesive way. “…I have sometimes talked about the strange gift that comes with the ...more
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Cara Stone
Prior to reading this book I had great respect for Elizabeth Edwards. As I read, that only increased. I was very impressed with not only her writing, but also her character. As she wrote of the loss of her son, her family's early days in politics, her time on the campaign trail with her husband, and her early struggle with breast cancer, I was drawn to her honesty, her down-to-earth nature, and her humanizing flaws. Of course, time has added perspective on the events she discussed as well, and I ...more
I saw Elizabeth Edwards on I think Booknotes. It was an extended interview and she was talking about her book. What made me want to buy it was here quote regarding the loss of her son. "I have sometimes talked about the strange gift that comes with the awful tragedy of losing a child. I had already been through the worst, I believed; we all had, and I had the gift of knowing that nothing will ever be as bad as that." When she was diagnosed with breast cancer within days of the presidential elect ...more
A year or so ago, I read Resilience, the second book by Elizabeth Edwards, written during the sex scandal that ended her husband's political career (at least for a while -- they seem to be making a comeback or trying to post-sex-scandal these days). By the time I finished that book I was more enamored of Elizabeth Edwards than ever but still able to find some equilibrium and forgiveness for John as she seemed to have done.Then I read this book, with the little add-on chapter written about the ti ...more
To say that I was moved by this autobiography is a huge understatement; I even cried on the airplane while I was reading it. Just like you know that the Titantic will eventually sink when you watch the movie, you know that she eventually dies of cancer (and you might already know before reading the book that they had a teenage son die in a car accident in the 1990's) and that her husband cheated on her (which is NOT mentioned in the was published in 2006, so it might have preceeded her ...more
My husband gave me this book because I had been impressed with Elizabeth Edwards - he rarely gives me books so I made a point of reading it. I like memoirs and autobiographyy and I enjoyed her account of growing up in a military family. The story of her grief over her son's death is compelling and terrifying for a parent or grandparent - I would never want to have this experience. However, the more I read the more I was annoyed at her wealth and the luxury she had of being able to spend all her ...more
This isn't a book I would normally have picked up. Elizabeth Edwards spoke at our 2007 Annual Meeting and I had my book signed so I figured I should read it.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. None of the topics were terribly interesting to me, but her writing was engaging enough to keep me going. I guess I did enjoy her chapters on growing up a military brat, they were stories and observations that I could relate to.

Edwards is obviously an extremely strong woman, and her upbeat atti
Whatever your political leanings are, there is no denying the strength of Elizabeth Edwards, wife of democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. Her book retells much of her interesting life (including her experiences growng up as a military brat), but concentrates on some of her most trying moments, including losing her teenage son (and a piece of herself) in a car accident and being diagnosed with breast cancer on the eve of her husband's loss in the 2004 elections. She gets a little preac ...more
I read this book two years ago trying to find some insight into why Elizabeth Edwards would have gone along with John Edwards' charade to run for president again in 2008, knowing he had had an extramarital affair. Well, I didn't get much insight into that issue, but the book was an interesting read anyway. I enjoyed reading about her growing up on US military bases in Japan. There was a huge section on dealing with the overpowering grief from her son's death. Edwards' description of the 2004 cam ...more
Nicole Braden Lewis
This was my favorite of the three autobiographies I had recently read. Mrs. Edwards has a nice narrative style. And boy, has she been through a lot, and that was only through the early treatment for her cancer. Some of the lists of names of supporters and lengthy quotes of correspondence between her and other grieving parents grew somewhat tedious, however, and I found it unfair that it wasn't until the last chapter that she mentioned her daughter Cate's birth - somehow Cate just appeared in the ...more
I "read" this as an audiobook. It is a beautiful book and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Listening to her struggles made it very personal and easy to relate. Her struggles and grace were inspirational.
Shirley Breheny
I absolutely loved this book. It is a true revelation of Elizabeth Edwards' character and life. It is essentially a "thank you" to all the people involved in her life who made her the person she came to be. She truly appeciated the concept of all success in life as being derived by "a village", in which she was as much a contributor as a receiver.

I especially enjoyed all her references to military life; as a former "military brat" I could really relate!

Her writing is so clear and coherent, ful
Tom Franklin
This is a book divided into four unequal parts: Elizabeth Edwards' childhood as a military brat, the 2004 Presidential election, her (first) battle with breast cancer and the death of her son, Wade.

I think it's safe to say that Wade's death was the defining moment of Elizabeth's life. She writes with depth and intensity of the days and weeks after Wade's death with such openness that I felt I was grieving alongside her. Those chapters were some of the most honest, most painful writing I've ever
Anita Dawson
To be honest I only read this book to find Elizabeth Edwards' response to Andrew Young's book "The Politician". Ms. Edwards discussed many painful things in this book, especially the death of her son Wade in great detail, but not once did she discuss her husband's infidelity. The book was written as though that period of her life never happened.

It was interesting to see her perspective of life on the campaign trail. I didn't realize that she played a large role the campaign. Seeing that she was
Ronald Wise
I've always liked the author's husband, John Edwards, as a political candidate and so was eager to read this book by a member of his family. It didn't discuss, however, John as much as the death of their teenage son Wade and Elizabeth's battle with cancer. In dealing with those two topics, there were times when I thought "Enough!", but then her apparent reason for writing the book was to express her appreciation for the support she received during those traumas, from both friends and strangers. ...more
Mary Robinson
I think Elizabeth Edwards is a lovely writer, and I related to the way she thinks about the world and the value of community and connections. The driving force of her life is the loss of her 16-year-old son and the book deals with her grief, how she coped with it and channeled it into various campaigning. It actually might be a good book to recommend to someone who has lost a child, but it might be tricky to do so given the author's perceived political nature (to me she writes more as a mother t ...more
Oct 21, 2007 Barbara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I found this books by Elizabeth Edwards to be a touching memoir. She is brutally honest about the terrible grief she and her family experienced when their son was killed in an auto accident. She also writes of her breast cancer, which she found just as the 2004 presidential race was ending and which has recently found has spread. Her determination to support her husband in spite of her illness is obvious after reading of how she has handled other things in her life. Her stories of her childhood ...more
Elizabeth Edwards recounts how she coped with the sudden death of her son Wade and then her cancer diagnoses about ten years later. She thanks her firends and family, including her extended ones on and griefnet, who listened to her and allowed her to grieve on her own time. She grew up the child of a Navy pilot and lived all over the country, as well as Japan, and credits part of her coping with being able to immediately assimilate into new situations and easily make friends. I ...more
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book
I liked the personal story of Elizabeth Edwards, especially as she described how hard it was to lose a teenage son and their decision to have additional children. I felt that she was open and honest about her feelings during her first battle with breast cancer. The part about all the political campaigns got a little repetitive and lots of name-dropping, but overall an interesting look into the life of a politicians wife. Since she wrote the book, she has been diagnosed again with breast cancer a ...more
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