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 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.
Formulaic but sprightly, Gaffney's debut is a variation on the theme of women's solidarity and bravery. Four friends in Washington, D.C., have been meeting once a week for 10 years, relying on each other for laughter, advice and encouragement. There's Emma, approaching 40 and in love with a married man named Mick; Rudy, the unstable depressive whose marriage is on the rocks; happily married Lee, who desperately wishes to have a child with her husband, Henry; and Isabel, the divorced cancer survivor who is in love with her neighbor, Kirby. They call themselves "The Saving Graces," after a dog they once hit with a car, rescued and nursed to recovery: now "she's old and grizzled like us... but she is the sweetest dog." Each chapter is told from the perspective of one of the Graces, and though Gaffney provides each character with a distinctive voice, the stories are overly emotional and predictable. Together the women help each other with their various love troubles until Isabel's cancer returns, a blow that brings them even closer, "putting things in perspective" and setting the scene for the inevitable weepy ending. The Graces eventually get what they long for; each finds her own brand of bittersweet satisfaction, with hard-won lessons learned. "We don't go around calling ourselves in public," says Emma. "It's corny; it sounds like a TV sitcom... starring Valerie Bertinelli, Susan Dey and Cybill Shepherd. Notice these are all attractive, smart, funny women who happen to be a little long in the tooth." While Graces reads much like daytime drama, it lacks the suspense of that medium; we know how things will work out right from the beginning. But since TV doesn't travel to the beach, this novel may provide a soap opera fix under a sun umbrella. 100,000 first printing; $200,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections; author tour; rights sold in Germany, Sweden, Finland, England and Norway.