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Patricia Gaffney, Copyright: unknown
Patricia Gaffney
born in: Tampa, Florida (US)


Fanclub Homepage

1989 .|. Sweet Treason
1989 .|. Fortune's Lady
1990 .|. Thief of Hearts
1991 .|. Lily
1992 .|. Another Eden
1993 .|. Sweet Everlasting
1994 .|. Crooked Hearts
1995 .|. To Love and to Cherish
1995 .|. To Have and to Hold
1996 .|. Forever and Ever
1997 .|. Outlaw in Paradise
1997 .|. Wild at Heart
1999 .|. The Saving Graces Excerpt from Harper Collins .|. Bookworm's Comment
2000 .|. Circle of Three Excerpt from Harper Collins
2002 .|. Flight Lessons Excerpt from Harper Collins .|. Bookworm's Comment
2004 .|. The Goodbye Summer Excerpt from the Author's Homepage
2007 .|. Mad Dash Excerpt from the Author's Homepage
2010 .|. The Other Side
     (Short Story)
Excerpt from the Author's Homepage

The Saving Graces
"The Saving Graces" (HarperTorch, Paperback, 1999, read: July 00)
"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."

This book is about four different women who meet regularly for more than ten years, discuss their big and small problems, and share their secrets. Each one of the women has difficulties to overcome: childlessness, being in love with a married man, being diagnosed with cancer and a very dominant husband. Together they conquer everything and everyone and all gets well.
The premise of the story is in the same time its weakness: the problems are so precisely drawn and 'typical' that it sounds unbelievable that in a group of four women all these difficulties occur simultaneously and vehement. And it's very clear early on that in the end every woman gets what she misses and everything is solved. Fate presents no obstacles and the reader knows from the beginning what it's all about.
But two things make this novel ideal for a summer vacation or a long rainy summer weekend. First of all the 'Saving Graces' are what every women dreams about: best friends, one for every situation in life, who help, criticize and stand beside you no matter what. In this novel this dream comes true. Second is the humorous style of the author which captivates you and lets you read on and on. Very often you just have to laugh out loud because the comments are so dry and characteristic that you may have said them yourself. Each chapter is told by another woman. This allows you to see their different points of view and the story becomes diverse and interesting. You recognize yourself in these women especially because their problems are timeless.
[Dorothée Büttgen, July 00]

Flight Lessons
"Flight Lessons" (Simon & Shuster, Paperback, 1st edition, 2002, read: April 04)
"For sixteen years, Anna has studiously avoided her Aunt Rose. Exchanging cards at holiday time - that's as far as Anna is willing to go with the woman she once loved more than anyone else in the world. That love died the night Rose betrayed Anna and her mother - and Anna can't forgive or forget.
Years have passed since she's been back to her hometown on Maryland's Eastern Shore, where Rose still runs the family restaurant. Anna has built a life elsewhere with a job she likes and a man she loves. Or so she thought.
Another betrayal, another loss. Needing an escape, Anna has only one place to go: home to the family, to the restaurant and to Rose, who has been trying for more than a decade to regain Anna's trust. And right now, Rose needs her more than ever ..."

A huge misunderstanding has destroyed the relationship between Anna and her Aunt Rose. When both women run the family restaurant together it needs a lot of patience and work to repair the damage. From the beginning its clear that Anna only needs to listen once to what her aunt has to say and everything would be ok. But that only happens almost 300 long pages later (at least in my edition of the book). Furthermore there's the love story with the man who will give meaning to Anna's life. And in the end everything is allright again.

The story is much too predictable to be interesting. At least to those readers who are in their early 30s and therefore identify with Anna's position. It might be interesting to know how women in the age of Aunt Rose (high 50s) experience this.
[Dorothée Büttgen, July 05]

Other great bookreviews at Bookworm's Lair:

Fannie Flagg, Standing in the Rainbow     Sue Monk Kidd - The Secret Life of Bees     Billie Letts - Where the Heart is     Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

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