May 22, 2020

Looking Back - Saying Grace

Looking Back... In an effort to transfer my book journal entries over to this blog, I'm going to attempt to post (in chronological order) an entry every Friday. I may or may not add extra commentary to what I jotted down in these journals.

Saying Grace by Beth Gutcheon
1995 HarperCollins
Read in September 1999
Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

Rue Shaw has everything--a much loved child, a solid marriage, and a job she loves. Saying Grace takes place in Rue's mid-life, when her daughter is leaving home, her parents are failing, her husband is restless and the school she has built is being buffeted by changes in society that affect us all. Funny, rich in detail and finally stunning, this novel presents a portrait of a tight-knit community in jeopardy, and of a charming woman whose most human failing is that she wants things to stay the same.

Saying Grace is about the fragility of human happiness and the strength of convictions, about keeping faith as a couple whether it keeps one safe or not. Beth Gutcheon has a gift for creating a world in microcosm and capturing the grace in the rhythms of everyday life.

My Original Thoughts (1999):

I liked this book, but didn't love it. There were far too many characters to keep track of and only one that I felt connected to. And, it was sad. Death, affair, separation, child abuse, etc. Not a very upbeat story and a lot of loose ends. 

My Current Thoughts:

This was the second book of Gutcheon's that I read in 1999. I don't remember anything about it and no longer own a copy, so it's definitely not one I'm likely to read again. Quite frankly, it sounds dreadful!


  1. I'm almost certain I read this book on a vacation during the summer of 1999. Trying to think about how old the daughter was then and what was going on. I think it was the trip we took to San Diego and we took a friend of the daughter's along with us. I recall sitting on a balcony overlooking the ocean and reading this book. Vaguely. The story rings with me. Don't remember much about it otherwise.

    Isn't it funny how some books are connected with what was going on in one's life at the time? I very vividly recall reading The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy on a vacation to Bend, probably in 1996 or so.

    1. Kay, I find that I have strong memories of where I was listening to a book more so than when I was reading a print copy. But I do remember certain time periods when I was reading a particular book (or which house we were living in at the time).

  2. This sounds somewhat familiar or maybe it's just that it was a popular book. Not sure that I would pick it up now.

    1. Iliana, it probably was fairly popular back in the late 90s. Not my cuppa anymore!


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