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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
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    45
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    14

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    60
  • 4 Stars
    42
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    9

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    34
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    46
  • 2 Stars
    17
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Sort by:
  • 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

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

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

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!

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

i like the vision

i personally like where the book was going but the execution and order of the plot is kind of annoying. overall the book is actually a good read for those who enjoy a love story that with unexpected endings.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Can I give zero stars?

A very poorly written story, with no story whatsoever. My local library book club read it. Most couldn't finish it. All agreed it was horrible

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    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
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • MoMo
  • YUBA CITY, CALIFORNIA
  • 04-17-18

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.