Definitely a "woman's book," The Saving Graces is about the lives and friendships of Lee, Rudy, Emma and Isabel. The four women share intimate weekly dinners and occasional trips to North Carolina's Outter Banks, where we are privy to their thoughts and conversations. Few subjects are off limits to the women, and as readers we are involved in their interactions with men, careers, families, and the individual dilemma each character faces. Lee is the stable one, except that she wants a child and can't conceive. Neurotic Rudy struggles to find herself beneath the smothering domination of a charming but self-centered husband. Emma bemoans her status as a single woman who finds true love with a married man. Isabel, as the book's wise crone, has a life-threatening illness, is recovering from a shattering divorce, and finds an unexpected new love in her life. While every character's story has a singular theme, they are nicely woven together by author Gaffney's clever and clear ability to change voice, becoming first one character followed by the others. She keeps the collective story-line moving forward and at the same time explores the individual feelings of her characters. The book's strength lies in it's readability and accurate revelation of how close women friends interact. This includes the fact that, as in real life, one or two of the characters talk about the others when the others aren't present. The weakness of The Saving Graces lies in the neatly tied up package each woman's life becomes by the book's conclusion. Overall, it's a pleasing, fast read for women of any age. The Graces capture much of what is wonderful about the constancy of women friends in our lives.