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The Saving Graces

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  15,213 ratings  ·  709 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
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Harper Perennial (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,213 ratings  ·  709 reviews

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Wicked Incognito Now
Aug 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.

Jo Ann
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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, ...more
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since it last took me soooooo long to finish a book... I never really warmed to it and, to be honest, the only reason I didn't put it down indefinitely, was because I chose it as a part of my reading challenge for this year from the very start...

It was kind of long, kind of boring, and a lot of aggravation for me.

I completely loathed Emma as she was kind of a mistress for a married man. And the way she thought... Ugh, I had the urge to throw the book a time or two when
Mar 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, 2012
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
Nov 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jun 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 29, 2012 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: not-finished
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.
Gypsy Lady
Sep 26, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
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.
Jan 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was a delightful book. I really liked it a lot, and I only cried a wee bit at the end. I have my own "graces" in my life, and this book made me really appreciate those special women that I love so much. BNIASW.
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
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
Bev Walkling
I have always been a fan of Anne of Green Gables and was particularly taken with her idea of kindred spirits. My hope has always been that I would find one and at times in my life have found myself close including being part of a woman's group that lasted for some years, but moves among other things, health issues and being a caregiver for many years (which tends to isolate one) mean that although I have friends I don't feel that I have a female kindred spirit.

This book is about 4 women who
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Mar 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone with a friend
Recommended to Lana by: my daughter, who is also my friend
I had a hard time getting into this book. i am not crazy about the chapters, each person is a chapter and it jumps back and forth. but once i got into the story i loved it. what a great portrayal of these women, who could be anyone we actually have as friends. some people, especially women i know, say that only two can have a friendship. but i disagree with that. these women were not perfect, they had their fights, but they still remained friends, and that is what friendship it. through the bad ...more
Regina Mastrogiacomo
At first I thought the book was rather slow, but as I read on it became more involved and interesting. I like stories about people and how they act between each other. I find it fascinating.

This book allow a perspective from each of the specific characters and made it more rounded and less judgmental. The challenges that each of the women dealt with is pretty typical, but I really enjoyed their compassion and kindness toward each other even when they wanted to yell and scream at each other. The
Lynn Yhost
May 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
I decided to clean out my books and this was the first I picked up. Figured I had read it but couldn't remember the story (scary isn't it?) So I started reading it and really could relate to it. Kept thinking about my friendships and how we have all gone through stuff and how it has changed us. Woke up this am and finished the book and was really bawling, something I don't usually do as sappy stories are usually too trite. But this one got me...Anyone want my copy or should I recycle it?
May 17, 2011 rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 16, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
May 02, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
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.
Amanda McGill
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
I really enjoyed this novel. It reminded me of Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, but as an adult read. At the beginning, I found it hard to keep track of the women, but obviously it was easier as the novel went on. I loved the 4 women's friendship. A bit predictable, but still a great story.
Sandee Lammers
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Another book about the amazing gift of friendships.
Tamara Lane
Amazing finish! A lovely, eloquent writer, Ms. Gaffney is!
Sep 04, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Did not finish, started reading but did not capture me and the book is too long for my liking to pursue when I have many other books I want to read
May 28, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a pretty solid 3.5 stars, but not quite 4.
Sep 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a great beach read. I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could. The relationship between the women in the book is very believable and very well written. The dialogue is completely believable. In fact, I found the whole story to be realistic and true. The book is about female friendships and the depth and twists that they can take. It isn't a 'deep' book but it was enjoyable to read and I did shed some tears at the end
Donna McCaul Thibodeau
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a heartwarming story about four friends and their lives. The plot wasn't terribly original but I really felt like I knew these characters and I cared about them.
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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,
“I hate jealousy. At least it's its own punishment; it makes me feel like hell.” 15 likes
“laughter is cathartic and cleansing, that it's good for the body and the soul, and when it's real it's better than sex.” 14 likes
More quotes…