That S&W with the CT grips is probably par with going rates. Try pricing one separate and adding it to any pistol and you're looking at pistol price plus a couple hundred easy.
I like rubber grips personally, and it might be more than just the feel even though recoil isn't a factor for me with any caliber I shoot. IMO, they give a bit of user adjustment to otherwise hard/smooth factory grips on most pistols....and more comfortable.
One of my best friends in the world is female and age 63. I've attempted to sway her into some sort of pistol in the past, but she continues to carry the keychain pepper spray I gave her almost a year ago (it's a good one BTW and I have one for myself).
Thing is...we all seem to do well for ourselves in what we choose as a defensive sidearm within our means, and in a caliber we trust and what works for us. It's rather difficult to disconnect ourselves from those aspects when we decidedly go about "helping" choose a pistol for someone we care about and love because we already have a predisposition on the matter. When it all comes down to it, are each and every one of us able to put a price on life? It's what we are essentially thinking about when we go looking for a life saving tool for our near and dear isn't it? My advice then would be....if you can afford it, and they like it....shoot well with it (more than twice to rule out beginner's luck), can manipulate it, and feel comfortable with it....then so be it. Many of us will compromise in certain situations. Sometimes our loved ones deserve more attention than ourselves, and if it came down to my mother, then I'm guessing I would starve for as long as I needed to get what's best for her, or I'd eat macaroni and cheese forever and sell my soul to make it happen.
You can probably find a better deal all together or separate...but then we would be talking about what YOU are looking for and not your mother.