Rose Mae Lolley is a fierce and dirty girl, long-suppressed under flowery skirts and bow-trimmed ballet flats. As "Mrs. Ro Grandee", she's trapped in a marriage that's thick with love and sick with abuse. Her true self has been bound in the chains of marital bliss in rural Texas, letting "Ro" make eggs, iron shirts, and take her punches. She seems doomed to spend the rest of her life battered outside by her husband and inside by her former self, until fate throws her in the path of an airport gypsy - one who shares her past and knows her future. The tarot cards foretell that Rose's beautiful, abusive husband is going to kill her. Unless she kills him first.
Hot-blooded Rose Mae escapes from under Ro's perky compliance and emerges with a gun and a plan to beat the hand she's been dealt. Following messages that her long-missing mother has left hidden for her in graffiti and behind paintings, Rose and her dog Gretel set out from Amarillo, Texas, back to her hometown of Fruiton, Alabama, and then on to California, unearthing a host of family secrets as she goes. Running for her life, she realizes that she must face her past in order to overcome her fate---death by marriage---and become a girl who is strong enough to save herself from the one who loves her best.
Backseat Saints will dazzle listeners with a fresh and heartwrenching portrayal of the lengths a mother will go to right the wrongs she's created, and how far a daughter will go to escape the demands of forgiveness. With the seed of a minor character from her popular best-seller Gods in Alabama, Jackson has built a whole new story full of her trademark sly wit, endearingly off-kilter characters, and utterly riveting plot twists.
©2010 Joshilyn Jackson (P)2010 Hachette
Joshilyn Jackson is such a wonderful writer that it almost doesn't even matter what she is writing about. Her prose is so arresting that she could bring any subject to life. Her voice reading the story is the perfect voice for Rose May too. she has that Southern sweet girl/bad girl voice down pat.
I highly recommend this audio. I've purchased and listened to all her other books and loved them all but I think she's really topped herself with this one.
Looking forward to the next book!
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
Perhaps because of the very dark subject matter, this was not quite as enjoyable as previous Jackson books. In the first half there was the familiar edgy southern sass that I so love from this author, but as Rose Mae hits the road and reaches California, the charm is quickly diminished. Jackson's narration suffers as she tries to voice Rose Mae's mother's affected non-southern accent. The mother's character is less well developed, and is not very sympathetic, which is problematic considering the pivotal role she plays in Rose Mae's own development. The violence she has experienced makes this somewhat understandable, but difficult to warm up to. Still, the story is compelling and has a ring of authenticity regarding the family violence. Just not as strong a recommendation as her other books in my opinion.
I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?
There is so much to like about this book. The southern charm, the tragic story of a marriage between a strong woman and a completely dangerous yet outwardly appearing upstanding man. The portrayal of power and control in an abusive relationship is realistically illustrated here. I was engaged every minute and hooked in the plot until near the end when the main character's relative shows up. Unfortunately this character has little substance, is sometimes inconsistent or weak within the plot and to make matters worse the narrator's otherwise perfect rendition falls apart here too. Regardless this book is still a winner in spite of these flaws.
This book is absolutely amazing! It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time & had me sympathizing with the main character (due to the excellent in-depth character development) throughout the audiobook. Ms. Jackson's naration is beyond superb; she isn't just a fabulous writer, she's a marvelous voice over artist! This is one of my favorite three books/audiobooks of-all time. I simply can't recommend it enough! Get it for yourself AND gift it to all your friends!
I usually tire of really descriptive verbage but so enjoyed the analogies that I actually could see and enjoy "seeing" Joshilyn's descriptions. I loved her narration. I find that over 50% of how well I like the book is how well the voice fits the character and I thought it was perfect.
It is such a treat to have the author narrate her own book. This is another fabulous read/listen from Ms Jackson.
I have to say that I love Audible.com! And listening to the actual author read her words brings such a depth and breadth to the story that you just don't find anywhere else. This was one of the first stories that I could not put down. I listened to this from start to finish, I wanted to know what was going to happen next. The author holds you spellbound from one chapter to the next, weaving you seamlessly through the lives of her characters, so you forget where one ends and another begins. Very richly told. Would recommend to all as a cautionary tale of the perils of the "perfect romance".
I enjoy literary fiction with character depth and psychological exploration. I am in my 50s, work in psychology, and love the outdoors.
Once again, Joshilyn Jackson has written an interesting tale of Southern women. What I particularly liked about this one was Ms. Jackson's development of a the love/hate, push pull of an abusive relationship and the strength it takes to move on. While writing about a very difficult subject matter. Jackson manages to bring in enough mystery with a little fantasy (the gypsy) to lighten up the darkness of the protagonist's experience. In this "Chick Book", the reader gets to watch a young woman find her strength while uncovering how her family history has influenced her choices. Plus, there is a faithful dog in the story keeping company with our heroine throughout her many adventures. I really enjoyed this book.
Brief Description: Ro Grandee is the sweet-looking, dutiful wife of Tom Grandee, living in Amarillo, Texas in a tiny house the color of toothpaste. If you met her, you might think it odd that Ro wears long sleeves in summer. But how else can a wife hide the bruises that her husband’s been giving her? So when Ro is told by a gypsy that she must choose between her life or Tom’s life, her long-buried “true” self (Rose Mae Lolley) surfaces and attempts to shoot Tom dead. But things don’t quite go as planned, and Rose Mae realizes she needs to find another way out.
My Thoughts: This is a book that I think I liked more because I listened to it on audio. Much of the appeal for me was listening to Joshilyn Jackson’s narration. She has this cute Southern voice that just made the book come alive for me. The way she phrased things and her inflections at particular times was very entertaining, and certain details (like the toothpaste color of the house) stuck with me in a way I don’t think they would have had I physically read the book. However, upon assessing the book with a little bit of distance, I do think it is a bit unbelievable in terms of the plot. I’m willing to overlook that, though, because I enjoyed the narration so much. I do plan on listening to Gods Of Alabama, the precursor to this book, as it apparently answers the question of what happened to Jim Beverly.
At first I was hesitant to select this book because of its subject matter--domestic violence. However, the story is beautifully written and exquisitely well read by the author. Several times, I wanted to pick up the phone to quote a particularly brilliant line or two to my daughters. Joshilyn Jackson surprises me with every new book. I loved the characters and hated to come to the end.
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