The Saving Graces
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The Saving Graces

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  11,064 ratings  ·  547 reviews
Meet The Saving Graces, Four Of The Best Friends A Woman Can Ever Have.

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 gro...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Harper Perennial (first published January 1st 1999)
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The Help by Kathryn StockettThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggDivine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca WellsWhere the Heart Is by Billie Letts
Best Adult Female Friendship Books
20th out of 365 books — 707 voters
The Help by Kathryn StockettThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggThe Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Best Women's Fiction Novels
34th out of 850 books — 845 voters


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Community Reviews

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Wicked Incognito Now
This is simply the story of four best friends.

This is the sort of book I would normally avoid like the plague. I read for escapism, not to experience middle aged women and all their various (real-life) issues. Plus, lately I've been reading exclusively romance and YA, because I figure: Why not just read the books I really WANT to read, instead of reading the books that others think only the "intelligent" people read? I love the guarantee of a happily ever after that romances provide.

However, I'...more
Jo Ann
This is the 4th time I've read this book...I've read it for various groups: with varied friends/groups of friends, book club, and now, for a "book club" with my 3 sisters-in-laws. Each time I've read it, the "star ratings" increase. That is perhaps because I've lived more of life, and appreciate more and more the sharings and discussions between friends (and yes, I consider my sisters-in-laws true friends). I appreciate FRIENDS and the wonder and depth and fun they bring to my life. So, discussi...more
Zeek
Told from the perspective of four friends who call themselves The Saving Graces, we get a story of friendship that endures through the ups and downs of life. That seems so trite as I write it but, as we all know, the ups and downs are far from trivial and what they experience touches on some of the hardest things women have to go through. Each chapter is told by one of the graces points of view, so we get a close up look at all of them, but it's what they say when the other one is speaking that...more
Mady
This was just the thing I needed to read these days. Some sort of sisterhood of the travelling pants with women on their forties.

Lee, Isabel, Rudy and Emma have created a group about 10 years ago which they've called "The Saving Graces". They meet usually twice a month, at each others place, and over dinner they catch up on each their lifes, chat and support each other. Initially on their meetings they had topics to discuss, but that was probably when they were't true friends yet.

They are all di...more
Kim
Well, okay, it was formulaic. You have your obligatory women's group with one of each personality type. You have your uptight organized one, your wild insecure one, your wise spiritual one and your neurotic damaged one. And you have your usual women's group themes. There's someone struggling with infertility, someone trying to get over a damaged childhood, someone with cancer and someone fighting the urge to commit adultery. Still, Gaffney is a good storyteller. The chemotherapy scenes are so vi...more
Brittaney
I was ordering some books on Barnes & Noble's website, and I was up to about $22. If you order $25 worth of books, then you get free shipping. So, I skipped to the bargain books and added this to my cart on a whim. Some things are just meant to be.

I loved the story lines in this book. I never wanted to put it down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next for each of the women in the book. As a bonus, the book is based in DC. Books based in your own city are always a little more...more
Stacey
The Saving Graces is a beautiful story about friendship, love & loss, trial & error, hardships, & success, fears & conquests, and the bond between four women who were lucky enough to have each other in their lives.
This story was so well written that it would be hard for the reader not see a part of themselves in each of these women, to find a characteristic or two of one of your own friends mirrored in the Graces and you will long to be one of them. Lee, Emma, Ruby, & Isabel...more
Eileen
I just can't get into this book. I find it very difficult to follow and I can't get close to the characters. Sadly, putting it down for now.
Christine
I give it 3.5 stars. I just wasn't "feeling" this book. While reading a book like this, I usually get involved with the characters and start to care for them, even if I don't relate with them. But that didn't really happen here. I continued to read it since it was for book club and I wanted to find out what happened. It wasn't until almost the end of the book that I liked the book and I did get a teary.
Gypsy Lady
Page 256
... he’s one of those rare men who don’t feel bound to have an opinion on everything. Or worse, a solution.

Page 260
Yesterday’s revelations continue. Ultimately, in the very grand scheme of things, it’s irrelevant whether my life lasts fifty more years, or five. Or two. The point is to live it, not wait through it. And I’m alive now – I can pick flowers, pet the dog, eat cinnamon toast. How foolish I would be to let my mortality, which has been there all along, since he second of by birth...more
Lynn Yhost
This was one of my all time favorite books. I recommended this to my sisters and they recommended it to their friends and within a month (without exaggeration) there were at least a dozen of us who had read the book and were all in love with it. It was witty and full of the substance of life. I didn't want it to end! From the first page I was "part of their lives" and didn't want to "come home." I laughed out loud and cried ... not little tear ... BIG SLOPPY WET TEARS!

Excellent book. Would love...more
Keris
This is my first Patricia Gaffney and (yet another) thing I have tried on Jennifer Crusie's recommendation (yes, I can think for myself, thanks for asking).

The Saving Graces is a book about friendship. Four women have enjoyed more than ten years of shared life and love; helping each other in more ways than can be counted.

To read the rest of this review, please visit
http://www.trashionista.com/2008/01/b...
Kw
I found this tedious, as it is told in the first person by FOUR first people. Took me a while to sort them out, and mercy, what a mess their lives are! Middle-age angst all over the place. Issues many
deal with - infertility, immaturity, insecurity, unfaithfulness, even cancer - but while their first resort seems to be their friendship, alcohol is definitely always on the menu.
This just plodded along for me. Way too wordy. I do not recommend it at all.
Jen
Wonderful story of four best friends--sort of like the Traveling Pants books for adults. It deals with some heavy life issues--affairs, divorce, health, infertility--in short, real life stuff. I loved reading how these women supported and loved each other through everything life throws at them. Again, with the language disclaimer though--not lots, but ocassionally BAD. All in all though, a wonderful book about women.
Jessica
For me, this book was just way too long, at more than 500 pages in paperback. I also did not favor the way the narrator switched between the four main characters - the Saving Graces - every chapter. I found it hard to continuously readjust and would have preferred it told from just one character's perspective. All in all, it was a nice book, but not incredible.
Lauren
I was so wrong in everything I thought about this book before I read it. I thought it was going to be a bunch of sad middle aged women talking about hot flashes. I don't think a book has ever taken me more by surprise than this one did. Mostly, I will admit, because my expectations going in were so low. The writing was wonderfully poignant and the characters felt real and honest. The Saving Graces are real women, with their good and bad, neuroses and strengths, friends and men.
I don't think I w...more
Yang Shu-yuan
Es geht um vier unterschiedliche Frauen, die sich über zehn Jahre regelmässig treffen, ihre großen und kleinen Probleme besprechen und ihre Geheimnisse teilen. Jede dieser Frauen hat Schwierigkeiten, die sie überwinden muss: Kinderlosigkeit, die Liebe zu einem verheirateten Mann, eine Krebserkrankung und einen überaus dominanter Ehemann. Gemeinsam überwinden sie jedoch alles und jeden und alles wird gut.
Die Grundlage der Geschichte ist auch gleichzeitig ihre Schwäche: die Probleme sind so klar a...more
Callixta
Les aventures tragi-comiques de femmes nous sont devenues familières depuis Desperate Housewives et l’on pourrait, en ouvrant ce livre penser que Patricia Gaffney a voulu nous présenter quatre amies un peu sur ce modèle. Mais elle choisit un angle bien différent, celui de l’amitié féminine, la vraie, celle qui transcende les différences, les années, le temps, les aléas de la vie et cela donne une très belle histoire triste et optimiste à la fois.

Elles sont quatre au départ, quatre femmes qui von...more
Alice
Mlle Alice, pouvez-vous nous raconter votre rencontre avec Les Quatre Grâces?

"Les Quatre Grâces est la publication de juin des Éditions Charleston, avec lesquelles je continue mon parcours de lectrice avec plaisir."

Dites-nous en un peu plus sur son histoire...


"Emma, Rudy, Lee et Isabelle se réunissent une fois par semaine pour discuter et malgré leurs différences, plus de dix ans après, leur amitié est plus solide que jamais. C'est même certainement l'élément essentiel de leur vie qui leur per...more
Maria M. Elmvang
Okay, this I had not expected. When I last read this, I gave it 5 stars and listed it as one of my favourites. I've dialled down a rating before, but never before by this much!

Back in 2004 I wrote: A very sweet book about lasting friendship. Nice light book, but still has enough depth to leave you thinking about things. I ended up feeling really jealous of the people in the book. I would LOVE to have so many such good girl friends...

Yes, it is a sweet and light book with quite some depth, but ho...more
Karschtl
This book is about 4 women who meet regularly, cook together and share their problems. I also have three best friends who I know since childhood.

But the problems of these women are more severe than ours. One woman fights against cancer, the second against childlessness, the third (together with her therapist)against her craziness and (together with her friends) against her bastard of a husband. The fourth woman fights against the feelings she has for a married man. Since the first three problem...more
Jeanne
When women bond, something truly special happens. Patricia Gaffney has captured that something special is this story of four women - Emma, Rudy, Lee and Isabel. Together, they refer to themselves as the Saving Graces.

Each woman is at a crossroads in her life. Marital woes, illness, or family crisis all can be weathered when supported by true friends. There are misunderstandings and hurt feelings among the women, but these are worked through.

My Aunt Peg had a group of friends who called themselv...more
Jill Friesz rhamy
Admittedly, I only read this one because it was my choice for our very first book club, I had to come up with a book quickly and this was the only one on my bookshelf that I hadn't read yet. Not a high endorsement at all, but I was glad I did. If you have a book club or any group of women that you get together with regularly this is a fun read to talk about each of the characters and how alike they are to each member of your group. It won't end up being your favorite book, but it is a good way t...more
Caroline Herbert
This book tells the intertwining stories of 4 women, close friends who make up a women's club (NOT a book club), meeting for dinner every month. Essentially it's four different narratives, with the overlaying story of their friendship connecting everything. I found the most interesting part to be about how they all relate to each other and support each other over the 10 years over which the book is set. There are many trials and tribulations, of course--each character has her own struggle, cover...more
Roro
This was the best book I've read in a long time. There isn't anything fancy about it, nothing earth shaking, but just real good reading. I am not a fan of alternating voices, but this book changed my mind. It was about 4 women living in Bethesda, MD, who became best friends after joining a woman's group "The Saving Graces." They were together over a span of 10 years throughout the book. They vacationed every year in North Carolina and had adventures, life changes, heart breaks, fights, laughs an...more
Heather P
I read, horror, type books, like Lee Child "The Killing Floor" excellent by the way. Anyway, I picked up this book one day in the book store when I was feeling low, and it has turned my life around, so to speak. It was fantastic, it make me want to get into a womens group and be womenly. It was just perfect. The book is extremely well written and not confusing at all for 4 people to keep track of. Patricia Gaffney writes beautifully. Each chapter is set up with a certain person talking, one chap...more
Haidi
Mar 02, 2012 Haidi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Haidi by: Kat
Well, This book was so hard to get into at first, but it was something different from what I usally read and I wanted to read outside my normal comfort zone. I'm very glad I finished it. It was moving, emotive, sad, funny and interesting and had me constantly comparing parts of these womens lives to my own. It talks in depth about love, life, and makes you take a step back and re-evaluate what you think is import to yourself.

What I found so likeable about the book was that I could actually envi...more
Nikki
This is the story of four women who form a women's group in Washington, DC and quickly grow to be close friends. It's not really even clear why they form the group to begin with; they start out discussing "topics" each meeting but soon drop that in favor of just hanging out together. Each of them has a problem, as is common in this type of novel. One has left an unfaithful husband, only to be struck with breast cancer; one has psychological problems and a controlling husband; one is in love with...more
Dawn
Gaffney has a nice style of authoring The Saving Graces: Emma (vibrant and sassy - fun, but full of desire for the kind of love it seems she's destined to go without), Rudy (big-hearted and searching for healing from a rough childhood), Isabel (the older of the Saving Graces, very classy, gentle, and wise), and Lee (organized, prepared, lucky in love) each take turns telling this story from their own points of view. There is no "outside narrator." This gives the reader an inside look at each of...more
Kristal
A truly heart-warming tale of friendship and relationships. Four friends - Emma, Ruby, Lee and Isabel have been friends for ten years and have created a group that they call 'The Saving Graces'. Each woman has a different personality, adding interest to the group yet it seems that the one trait each person is lacking is found in abundance among the other members and they play off this system of helping each other through the rough spots in their lives. When a tragedy brings all four women togeth...more
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Patricia Gaffney was born in Tampa, Florida, and grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York, and also studied literature at Royal Holloway College of the University of London, at George Washington University, and at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After college, G...more
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“I hate jealousy. At least it's its own punishment; it makes me feel like hell.” 15 likes
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