On the surface they dont have much in common, but when it comes to matters of loyalty, friendship and love they are all united. For ten years the four founding members of the Saving Graces womens group have supported each other through lifes trials. Emma, Lee, Rudy and Isabel form the groups unshakable core.

In the romance department, so far only Lee seems to have come up aces. Her beloved husband Henry is solid as a rock. Beautiful, fragile Rudy is married to a man who turns emotional manipulation into an art form. Isabels former husband Kirby turns out to have been playing the field for years. And then there is Emma, hopelessly in love with a married man. While Emma and Mick Draco love each other, they will do nothing to jeopardize his marriage or his relationship with his young son.

Out of the blue an unseen danger arises to threaten their beloved clique. Isabel is diagnosed with breast cancer. It will take all of them pulling together to overcome the upcoming ordeal. Strength can come from unsuspected places and these women are far stronger than they realize.

While Patricia Gaffney has always been an author of note, she has created a pihce de risistance in this emotionally spell-binding and touching novel. Told in alternating chapters from the perspective of each of the four friends, SAVING GRACES reveals the myriad emotions that make up friendship and life. (July, 400 pp., $24.00)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith