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No One Is Coming to Save Us

A Novel
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
Categories: Fiction, African-American
3.5 out of 5 stars (187 ratings)

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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

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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summary

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

2 of 2 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Good

It was really well read by the voice actress. I wish I liked the story as much.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing and all over the place

I have tried three times to get into this listen and it's just all over the place - nothing to "dig into".

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Didn't enjoy the story

It was difficult to follow and finish. It was very slow, no continuity. Story didn't match the title at all.

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

I loved this book.

There were not many happy moments in this book..great storyline and multi-dimensional characters. I would read it again

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

Kind of pointless and sad.

I kept wanting for something good to happen to the characters but nothing ever did.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

This book is slow and boring. I only finished it because it was a book club selection. I’ve wasted 12 hrs of my life!