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Circle Of Three (2004)

Circle of Three (2004)
3.49 of 5 Votes: 4
0743468260 (ISBN13: 9780743468268)
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Circle Of Three (2004)
Circle Of Three (2004)

About book: After the sudden death of her husband, Carrie struggles with feelings of immense grief and guilt. She silently wonders: "Can grief last for a person's whole life?" For her, these feelings are twofold: Although she mourns the loss of her husband, she also mourns the death of their love - an emotional erosion that occurred long before her husband's heart gave out. Struggling to go on, to support her vivacious, loving fifteen-year-old daughter, Ruth, Carrie must shake off the sorrow and depression that surrounds her and begin a new life. For Ruth, as much as for herself, Carrie will somehow learn to live again.Complicating matters is Dana - Carrie's mother - an industrious, snobbish, yet sympathetic woman who tries to do what's right for herself and, unfortunately, for Carrie as well. It was fear of her mother's disapproval that drove Carrie away from her unforgotten first love - the soulful, passionate Jess - who has recently re-entered her life.Little does Carrie realize that her mother suffers secret miseries of her own. For Dana, life is still as mysterious as it was in early youth. Like her only daughter, Dana has lived within the confines of a silent marriage. And, like Carrie, Dana too, mourns a painful loss - the slow disintegration of her relationship with her daughter. Her unspoken wish is: "I'd give anything for the closeness we used to have. I love my daughter more than anyone else on this earth, but she won't let me in." At the end point of these two generations is Ruth, who silently copes with a double tragedy of her own - the loss of something she can never know - a real relationship with her father - and the emotional abandonment of her mother. Her secret sadness is: "She's still got me, but she's about half the mother I used to have. When Dad died I lost him and part of her. I'm almost an orphan." A precocious girl, quivering on the brink of womanhood, Ruth is eager to discover who she is and what life holds - even if that knowledge will draw her away from the people she loves.Shining through the interconnected lives of three generations of women in a small town in rural Virginia, this poignant, memorable novel reveals the layers of tradition and responsibility, commitment and passion these women share. Ms. Gaffney explores the dichotomies inherent in all women's relationships - the tears and laughter, despair and hope, misunderstanding and compassion, anger and love - that occasionally divide them yet ultimately bind them together. In Circle of Three, the silken bonds of family are brilliantly illuminated, as are the delicate yet resilient bonds of feminine understanding and friendship.I absolutely loved this book. I truly became immersed in this story - it was definitely a page-turner; moving and poignant, filled with emotional, well-developed characters with whom I connected deeply. I found myself caught up in the story, wanting to know what happened next. I actually have read this book before - about ten years ago - and while the story was familiar to me in places, I still enjoyed reacquainting myself with these characters. I give Circle of Three: A Novel by Patricia Gaffney an A+!

Written in 2000 this book has stood the test of time better than Ruby Tuesday Moon. It explores the relationship between Carrie, her mother and her daughter, alternating between the different viewpoints. Carrie had felt controlled by her mother and instead of marrying her childhood sweetheart, Jess, she goes to University, travels, marries Stephen and has a daughter Ruth. They eventually move back to her hometown as Stephen gets a job at the same University Carrie’s father works at, but three years later, when Ruth is 15, Stephen is killed in a car accident. Carrie finds it difficult to come to terms with it, partly through guilt that their marriage had not been all she hoped. Ruth adored her father and struggles with adjusting to the new life Carrie is building. Carrie’s mother, Dana, has struggles of her own, hating the fact that she is growing old and disappointed that the retirement of her husband has not led the new adventures she hoped for. What really makes this book for me is not so much the storyline but the spot on observations of all three generations of women. I find much to empathise with in them all. Ruth hates being 15 and sometimes thinks if she doesn’t grow up soon “her head will explode”. Carrie finds it ironic that what had attracted her to Stephen repelled her in the end, as he observed and critiqued his family, barely there. She spent the first half of her marriage trying to fix it and the second half trying to be happy, knowing it was broken. Dana and her friend, Birdie, wonder why they had children – “You think they’ll make you happy, make your life better, give it meaning and for a while it works but then they grow up and leave you and there’s nobody left to soften the blow. Not your husband that’s for sure. All you ever wanted was a little love in return, and to try to make their lives happy and maybe you can’t do both”. Dana quit showing her deeper feelings to George years ago; it was a one-sided exercise that left her feeling foolish. Not that not telling him things got her anywhere, a lose-lose situation. Carrie so dreads imposing her will on Ruth in the way Dana did to her that she fears she has also failed as a mother. At the same time as Carrie and Ruth’s close relationship breaks down, Carrie struggles to repair her relationship with her mother. A crisis situation forces Dana and Carrie to have a heart-to-heart. Dana says she does not blame her own mother for her choices and she will not accept the blame for Carrie’s. All she ever wanted was for Carrie to be happy, and Carrie realises this is just what she says to Ruth. Mothering never gets less complicated, harm is inevitable and you just have to hope someday children took into account your good intentions. The best we can do is love well, always imperfect and always forgivable. I sometimes felt impatient with aspects of the story but I loved the insightfulness into the three generations and their relationships. I recognised much in the pages of it.
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Carrie Van Allen est une veuve de 40 ans qui décide de retourner vivre, avec sa fille Ruth, dans la ville où elle a grandit. Elle rencontre des difficultés à surmonter la perte de son mari. Elle s'est enfoncée dans un miasme de douleur et de culpabilité vis à vis de l'accident qui a causé la mort de son époux. Incapable de se sortir de sa dépression, elle risque de se retrouver dans les difficultés financières.Des regrets, des doutes, de la culpabilité. Un histoire intergénérationnelle qui trouvera écho en tous.Un livre intéressant sur les relations entre femmes d'une même famille ou une réflexion sur comment devenir mère quand on est encore soi-même une fille.Avis complet :
I struggled between 3 and 4 stars, ultimately settling on 3 stars. I liked the characters and their relationship with each other - primarily mother, daughter and grandmother. I enjoyed the style of writing -- the alternating viewpoints of each of the three primary characters. When it was the grandmother's chapter, for instance, you felt like you were inside her head. The one thing that I didn't like was the length of the chapters -- I thought many of them were too long, which made reading sometimes difficult. I hate stopping in the middle of a chapter, so I found myself plowing forward when I would have rather waited and read more later.Like many others, I wish we had the ability to give 1/2 stars.
Sue Kundrath
Very good book. My mom recommended that I read this, and reluctantly, I agreed. Coming up on the 1-year anniversary of my father's passing, I felt a lot of the emotions that the characters in the book felt. The book was written in such a fashion that each chapter was narrated by either the mother, the daughter, or the granddaughter. I saw a lot of myself in the granddaughter and in the daughter(at times). I definitely saw a lot of my mom in the mother and the daughter. All in all, I enjoyed the book.
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