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Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers Paperback – August 14, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
The breast cancer diagnosis Edwards received on November 3, 2004, is dismayingly common. Uncommon, however, is the timing and the circumstances surrounding it. Wife of the vice presidential candidate John Edwards, Edwards's discovery of the lump on her breast came the day after the election and subsequent defeat of the Kerry-Edwards ticket. This mixture of the common and the uncommon, of the everyday and the extraordinary, defines Edwards and her life. A lawyer, mother of a grown daughter and two young children, and the wife of a politician, Edwards is both an optimist and a realist with the ability to laugh at herself. Yet she has had to endure a parent's worst nightmare—the death of her teenage son, Wade, in a car accident. In the end, however, Edwards's memoir is not about cancer, politics or even unbearable loss (though the description of her grief is heart-wrenching). It's about the value of people coming together to support each other. You'll find no celebrity gossip here. But like the kiss on the forehead her husband gave her at the end of their first date, this memoir is disarmingly moving. First serial to People, second serial to Ladies' Home Journal; feature in Good Housekeeping; national author tour; October 2 appearances on The Today Show and NBC Nightly News. (Sept. 26)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Reader Praise for Saving Graces
“I feel as if I’ve just had a long heart-to-heart with a wonderful new friend. Your writing is so open and engaging, truly.”
— Louisa Dykstra, Des Moines, IA
“I admire your continued courage, wisdom, and generosity. You are truly an inspiration.”
— Peggy Abrams, Raleigh, NC
“I wept when I read about your son Wade, and I can't even imagine how you felt when you discovered your breast cancer. But you are a survivor. Your strength is an inspiration to me. Thank you.”
— Amy Manata, Skokie, IL
“I have taken so much wisdom from your words and those of your husband. Life is full of heartache. But life is such a wonderful tapestry of colors, grays and oranges, sad ones, happy ones. . . “
— Priscilla Harcourt, Tewksbury, MA
“You are an inspiration and not simply because of your own courage but because you lead us to other heroes. You show me the hero that is your son and the hero that is my mother.”
— Carina Ost, Los Angeles, CA
“It is you who deserves our graces. You showed the world how to be strong, courageous, and most of all determined.”
— Eddie Alexander, San Mateo, CA
“You have been an inspiration to me because of your grace and consideration to all of us who support your battle against breast cancer as well as your obvious humanity and ability to speak to us as though we were in your living room.”
— Ellen E. Schaefer, Eugene, OR
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of Ms. Edwards' conclusions: She came to accept a God that does not intervene in "accident, disease, violence." It may not be the God we want but it is the God we have. She also reminds us that as in the case of Cain and Abel, "no one will step in and protect the pure from death." And as much as we love our families, we cannot spare them from pain.
Ms. Edwards' candor about her diagnosis and treatment of cancer is also an inspiration to us all, whether we have had cancer or are friends or family of cancer patients. That inspiration has been returned to her more than the Biblical fourfold as she has received over 65,000 messages of support from people of all walks of life; she prints some of them in the chapter "Washington: The Hospital."
Equally at home reading a Henry James novel or shopping at Target, Ms. Edwards is the good neighbor we all want to have. You have to adore someone who tells you she colors her hair and goes to a "workday" luncheon for Senate wives dressed in overalls and sneakers because she assumed, incorrectly of course, as one Senate wife showed up in a suit with "sequined lapels," that "workday" meant some sort of work.
This memoir is not like anything else you'll read by someone whose family is connected with national politics. It will make your believe all over again in the goodness of people.
Mrs. Edwards has truly had an interesting life starting in Japan as a military kid and up to now as a presidential candidates wife. You will feel like you know her as a personal friend after reading this book and I feel she is one of the most genuine people you will ever find.
This is really a good read and I recommend it to anyone.
After all, she had suffered the worst tragedy a parent can experience. She and her husband, John, had lost their precious teenage son, Wade, in a car accident. Now, she was about to battle another nightmare. This gripping book will inspire, educate, and stir your emotions. Elizabeth Edwards doesn't hold back, but tells her life story with honesty and courage. Men will also enjoy her story as she tells of her life growing up as a military "brat", raising her children, and helping her husband during his political campaigns.
Elizabeth Edwards believes in the power of community coming together to help each other in good times and bad. Through a sisterhood of community with other women throughout the country, she was able to stand up to the adversity that faced her. Through "Saving Graces," she gives hope, strength, support, and friendship to women battling breast cancer and other diseases. She also gains solace and strength from other women.
There aren't many women like Elizabeth Edwards. I was honored to meet her when she was on the campaign trail in 2004 in NH. I shared my story and book of how my elderly mother was transfused with HIV contaminated blood during heart bypass surgery. My 66 year old mother felt like a "leper" and kept her infection a secret for fear she would be rejected due to the stigma of AIDS. Elizabeth Edwards felt my pain, and tears flowed from her eyes as she hugged me. Now, I have the opportunity to read "her" story. Through it, I gain more strength and courage to deal with everyday struggles.
This book will help anyone dealing with any kind of adversity. It will save lives of thousands of women who put off having mammograms due to inexcusable reasons. Mrs. Edwards speaks from her heart and soul. She is a genuine and sincere woman filled with empathy. Thank you, Elizabeth for sharing your heartfelt memoir. You are a courageous woman who has taught us the importance of reaching out to one another in love and understanding. You are a "first-class" lady who shared your trials and triumphs through your heartfelt story. God bless you. I highly recommend this book.
Nancy A. Draper (Author) A Burden of Silence: My Mother's Battle with AIDS