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.
Comment: This is a contemporary book by Patricia Gaffney, a author I only knew as an historical writer. I got the book because it has so many reviews, so many people have read it, even if some didn't like it much, but that's to expect. I expected something more in the lines of romance but it's more directed to woman's fiction.
This is not my usually preferred genre but I still kept going.
This is the story of four friends, Isabel, Lee, Emma and Rudy. They aren't all the same age but they have many things in common, a bond that grew stronger as the years passed by, They started a woman's club just to talk, to discuss themes but things changed as their friendship got stronger and more personal. The book focuses on their lives now, the challenges they face, the joys they share and the battles they fight over their own feelings and the expectations in their lives.
I liked the book overall, but I wasn't as thrilled about everything as I'd imagined. The books featuring woman's friendships can be very interesting and show a beautiful side of friendship but I always think the drama is exaggerated just to push the reader into feeling a certain way and to be honest I wasn't always interested in what they were saying/sharing. I prefer some situations to others and I definitely would have preferred a third person narrator instead of the different passages told by each woman. I get the first person voice impacts the reader more, but in this case, often I was confused by the way things were told and didn't concentrate enough on the story.
I think I need to address my take on each woman's environment/personal stories, so to speak.
I preferred Emma's story because it was the one I found more interesting, with a complicated subject but with a take I hoped would have a believable and fair solution.
Emma is a journalist and she meets Mike Draco while doing an interview for a piece. Sparks fly between them but she learns he's married. Somehow they keep meeting each other, at some point Emma meets his wife and son but the attraction is still there and they fall in love. Nothing happens, and I'm glad no adultery happened, but I hoped for a HEA on this. It was the most interesting story and I kept hoping for Emma's parts so I could know how she was feeling. I felt for her and I got an interesting perspective on how the "other woman" must feel like. It's certainly a tricky situation and I'm just glad things ended in a good, sort of fair way.
Isabel is the oldest and faces a medical problem. It was very emotional to read her passages because she makes me think about serene people who calmly deal with problems and how unfair it is that the good people have to battle situations they don't deserve. Some parts about her were a bit confusing and I confess I wasn't always paying attention...
Rudy has a bad past apparently, negligent parents, she behaved badly when she was younger but now she is married and has the club and a therapist to help her. I didn't always get her, I think her personality is the most confusing but in the end I felt sorry for her because it is hard to just drift away and try to help and not knowing how to help ourselves. She raised her voice in the end, though.
Lee is the one with the happiest life, well when it comes to men at least. she loves and is loved by her husband but they can't have children. This is another one of those cliché situations, deserving people can't while others have them and dismiss them. I would have liked to know Lee better, but her story had sad parts I understood but wished didn't have to be that way.
This is a book about special bonds. I liked seeing how close all the woman were, how they spoke about their problems and had instant help, even if not blind wrong defenses. Some issues are certainly there to make us think, to represent diversity among the sort of situations people - and women - face nowadays about relationships, infertility, marital doubts, different goals, dealing with the past and sadness.... subjects that touch women and how they are expected to be perfect in everything or have the solution for everything while personally they struggle with how to do this or that and still be there for a friend, for a family member.
Some passages were emotional but I thought myself rather detached from some things because I just wasn't that engaged. The writing was boring in some parts and some issues just didn't appeal to me. I think it was hard for me to not think about the intention of upping the drama here. Not that is over the top, but the focus on other things not romance is obvious. I get the point, the genre but I prefer stories which aim to a different sort of tone, of purpose.
All things considered, this was a good enough story, sometimes interesting, others not that much, I liked knowing the women but despite the emotional parts which were touching yes, I still think this wasn't as amazing as that and certainly did not made me change my opinion about woman's fiction, in general.