by Jamie WhitfieldSeptember, 1999
Keep the Kleenex close . . . The four women in Patricia Gaffney's memorable, moving novel, The Saving Graces (5 hours), will inevitably be compared to the Ya-Yas, but the only thing they really share is that they're four, female, and true friends. Rudy, Emma, Lee, and Isabel have known each other for ten years. They meet for dinner every few weeks and talk openly about their lives, dreams, disappointments, and triumphs. They support each other with love and trust and the unique kinship that kind of support brings. The women speak in alternating voices, their interlocking stories like the different colored patches in a lovingly patterned handmade quilt and reader Judith Ivey gives each character a special tone and distinct cadence. This is unabashedly a woman's book, one that made me tear up and smile and be proud of the Graces.