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Publisher's Summary

JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina, to build his dream house and to pursue his high school sweetheart, Ava. But as he reenters his former world, where factories are in decline and the legacy of Jim Crow is still felt, he’s startled to find that the people he once knew and loved have changed just as much as he has. Ava is now married and desperate for a baby, though she can’t seem to carry one to term. Her husband, Henry, has grown distant, frustrated by the demise of the furniture industry, which has outsourced to China and stripped the area of jobs. Ava’s mother, Sylvia, caters to and meddles with the lives of those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia’s unworthy but charming husband, just won’t stop hanging around.

JJ’s return—and his plans to build a huge mansion overlooking Pinewood and woo Ava—not only unsettles their family, but stirs up the entire town. The ostentatious wealth that JJ has attained forces everyone to consider the cards they’ve been dealt, what more they want and deserve, and how they might go about getting it. Can they reorient their lives to align with their wishes rather than their current realities? Or are they all already resigned to the rhythms of the particular lives they lead?

No One Is Coming to Save Us is a revelatory debut from an insightful voice: with echoes of The Great Gatsby it is an arresting and powerful novel about an extended African American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream. In evocative prose, Stephanie Powell Watts has crafted a full and stunning portrait that combines a universally resonant story with an intimate glimpse into the hearts of one family.

©2017 Stephanie Powell Watts (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Somewhat disappointed

I read some reviews before I wrote mine; I agree with many reviewers in that a comparison to The Great Gatsby does a disservice to the reader, in terms of expectations, and to characters, in terms of their own development. I think there was too much going on overall and maybe if the relationships of Ava, Henry, and JJ were more of a focus, more developed, it could have been a more enjoyable novel with Sylvia as an excellent narrator--similar to Nick, Jay, Daisy, and Tom. The author did do a good job with dialogue, but it was still difficult to follow with so many characters and transitions between past and present. There is a lesson in learning to love and live in the present, as well as learning to want something else when you can't get what you want. I want to give it two stars but I guess I'll give it three. It wasn't phenomenal nor terrible.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

summary

A family story that I connected with. It was like listening to my grandmother and elder family members speak of their life stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A bit scattered.

I think I had higher expectations and wanted to like this more than I did. There were interesting characters and strong bits, but it felt disjointed and scattered, and each bit could have been fleshed out into a more cohesive story. But on the flip side, life can be scattered in pieces and maybe that's the point. I liked the narration.

I think it's worth giving this book a shot, but try to come to it with an open mind and fresh ears/eyes. I was a bit disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

No Great Gatsby

Could have been a great small town story, but all of the characters were weak and sad, with the exception of Lana, who was the most likeable. Needed a happy ending.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Left me with unanswered questions

Although it moved really slow, it kept me interested because I became invested in the characters and their plights and I was waiting for something big to happen, which never came. I was left with a lot of unanswered questions, like what actually happened to Devon? I know something happened, but was never clear on what.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A slow but moving story.

Being a child of North Carolina I enjoyed the language and memories of home that the story brought up. I became annoyed about the constant lack, poverty, and sadness that enveloped every character except for JJ. It was tough to finish.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Overall, pretty good read.

The story started out slow but it gradually picked up, which turned into a pretty good read. I was able to envision myself in the scenery and emerge myself in this story waiting to see what would happen next. I am very glad that I could read it on all audible

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written...

It was a joy listening to this book on Audible. The narration gave such meaning to each of the characters. I loved the story and the ways in which the characters' lives intertwined. Bravo!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • Colorado Springs, Colombia
  • 04-30-17

Wonderful Book!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would definitely recommend the book. The characters and their stories touched my heart on so many levels.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Sylvia, a wise and wonderful woman who loved her children, endured trials and singular humiliations throughout her life, and yet went on, doing her best, encouraging the people around her.

What does Janina Edwards bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ms Edwards' voice is pleasant and nice to listen to.

If you could rename No One Is Coming to Save Us, what would you call it?

I wouldn't change a thing.

Any additional comments?

The account of Sylvia's suffering as a young woman, dangerously overweight, pregnant, and "treated" by a nasty, critical doctor truly broke my heart. I wanted to go right into those pages, put my arms around her, and say, "Don't you cry, now, honey. You're somebody. You're good, and you're beautiful just the way you are." Then I would have tracked down that doctor and told him off. There's plenty of meanness in this world already, and we don't need more.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful