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Circle of Three: A Novel Paperback – May 3, 2011
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Patricia Gaffney's remarkable talent for describing the bittersweet connections between mothers and daughters makes the novel Circle of Three a mesmerizing study of three generations of women challenged by their shifting relationships and developing self-identities. With her ability to capture the essence of the timeless conflict of mothers' and daughters' various hopes and frustrations and the overall need for an intense connection with family, Gaffney's novel will appeal to readers of many ages.
The lives of grandmother Dana, mother Carrie, and daughter Ruth are instantly altered by the untimely death of Carrie's husband, Stephen. Having recently returned to her hometown in rural Virginia, Carrie had just begun to recognize and express her dissatisfaction in her bland marriage. Stephen's death tips Carrie into a deep depression, and 15-year-old Ruth feels as if she has lost both her mother and her father. Determined to get Carrie back on track, Dana encourages her to accept a job. As Carrie begins to emerge from her depression, she finds solace in the company of her old flame, Jess, and her work as a wooden menagerie designer for a local religious group called the Arkists. When Carrie refuses to return to her old patterns, both Ruth and Dana struggle to adapt to this change and develop their own new approaches to life.
With moments of quirky humor, realistic dialogue, and classic romance, Circle of Three does a tremendous job of describing the complex and conflicting process of growing up--at any age. This novel is sure to linger in your mind for months and to make the lending rounds between moms, daughters, sisters, and friends. --Nancy R.E. O'Brien --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Three generations of small-town Virginia womenAtroubled teen Ruth Van Allen, her equally insecure mother, Carrie Van Allen, and bossy grandmother Dana DanzigerAstruggle 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 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top customer reviews
Read these books, they are wonderful true to life real women's stories.
Carrie cares about no male except perhaps her first love Jessie, a person she fled when she decided to abandon her small hometown. Carrie's teenage daughter Ruth knows nothing about the shared past her mother and Jessie had. Instead she likes him, treating him like a friendly older brother and occasionally like a father. Dana never approved the "socially inferior" Jessie, but feels that when he thinks the time is right he will make his move. However, when Ruth catches Jessie and Carrie in a compromising position, she feels betrayed causing a crisis that forces the three generation of women to confront each other and themselves.
Patricia 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 line 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.
Made many parts of this very easy to relate to. I even laughed at some
Of the mother/teenager scenes.
Most recent customer reviews
I did really like all the characters. I'd definitely recommend it .