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Circle of Three [Large Print]


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About the Author

Patricia Gaffney's novels include The Goodbye Summer, Flight Lessons, and The Saving Graces. She and her husband currently live in Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania.


Three generations of small-town Virginia womenÄtroubled teen Ruth Van Allen, her equally insecure mother, Carrie Van Allen, and bossy grandmother Dana DanzigerÄstruggle to overcome personal problems and self-absorption to grow closer as a family in Gaffney's sweepingly sentimental novel. When Carrie's unfeeling husband Stephen suddenly dies of a heart attack, she desperately wants to bounce back into the arms of divorced farmer Jess Deeping, her conveniently available high school sweetheart. Problem is, Dana never approved of this once wild boy whose rough and rural upbringing reminds her too much of the verbally abusive country home she tried so hard to escape by marrying spineless academic George. Dana also harrumphs Carrie's interest in helping Jess reproduce a miniature Noah's Ark to honor the request of dying Arkist religious cult member Eldon Pletcher. Nevertheless, early on in this sprawling book it becomes clear that, after much flaky deliberation, Carrie will get a second chance with the man she's always loved. Meanwhile, Ruth is experimenting with a perpetually stoned boyfriend and a job at a health-food store, and trying to get over the shock of her father's death. Gaffney (The Saving Graces) relies too heavily on stale pop cultural references and language in telling Ruth's story, and male characters take a lot of abuse in this female-centric drama. Nevertheless, she turns out some resonant scenes, including one in which steely grandma Dana finally admits to an addiction. Though handicapped by transparent characterizations and poor pacing, the novel offers a reliable if predictable emotional roller-coaster ride. Literary Guild/Doubleday Book Club selection. (June) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

The latest novel from Gaffney (The Saving Graces) follows three generations of women through one tumultuous year. The book centers on recently widowed Carrie, who sees the grieving process as a chance to reinvent herself. But for Ruth, her 15-year-old daughter, it simply precipitates the onset of parent/child separation. Dana, Carrie's 70-year-old mother, isn't grieving; she's too busy trying to direct her daughter's life. Each chapter unfolds from a different first-person perspective, and the result is choppy and superficial. The chapters follow chronologically, but there is little sense of time passing, even though time is so critical to the grieving process. Angst-ridden Ruth is realistically drawn, but the character of Dana is wasted. Because Carrie, the main attraction, views herself as wimpy, her sections are dull. Ultimately, she undergoes little true character development, merely finding a new man to replace the old one rather than developing inner strength. Public libraries should purchase on demand. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/00.]ÄJodi L. Israel, MLS, Jamaica Plain, MA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

"Patricia Gaffney paints a vivid portrait of four very different women and the bonds between them. Friendship with its compassion and impatience, love with its powers and waknesses, life with its triumphs and failures are brilliantly voiced through characters so real they might be sitting in your living room sharing a bottle of wine. Those who don't recognize themselves or their friends in "The Saving Graces will wish they did. This is a jewel of a book, and every facet sparkles."-- Nora RobertsPatricia Gaffney has done it again. In CIRCLE OF THREE she spins a tale about a family so genuine you will swear you know them. Like her first novel, CIRCLE OF THREE has women at its center: a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter. The commitment they feel for each other is as much a part of them as the genes they share, and it is this commitment and shared history that provide the strength to move forward. It is also what will remind you why you continue to remain tied to your own family.Book PagePatricia Gaffney follows up her last bestseller THE SAVING GRACES with another powerful drama that will appeal to her fans as well as that of Delinsky and Siddons. The poignant story deals with problems on different levels as the three females bring differing perspectives to the table. This makes for an engaging tale that charms the audience as everyday people try to do their best to attain a happy life for themselves while hoping to bring contentment to their loved ones. CIRCLE OF THREE is family drama that is impossible to put down until the final page is read.Midwest Book Review

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