Sunday, July 18, 2010

92 - Backseat Saints; Joshilyn Jackson



















Did you ever read a book where all the characters were unlikable, yet you could not stop turning the pages? This was the case for for me with Joshilyn Jackson's, Backseat Saints.

Rose Mae Lolley grew up in Fruition, Alabama. She was abandoned by her mother at the age of eight, when she escaped her violent husband, leaving little Rose behind with her alcoholic father. He was a man who used booze to drown his sorrows, and when that did not work, he physically abused Rose.

Rose (Ro) was a crafty young girl, the "prettiest girl in high school"; she knew how to get who and what is wanted.  As soon as she was old enough she left home, headed for Texas and set her sights on Thom Grandee, who she ends up marrying.  Rose goes from the good girl, dutifully performing her housewife duties, to the not so good girl who knows just what to say and do to push her "hot-head" husband's buttons. This of course, usually results in her being beaten by Thom.

One day when Rose brings a neighbor to the airport, she meets a gypsy who reads her tarot cards and tells he "kill or be killed", referring to her relationship with with her husband Thom. So the not - so - good girl begins to plan her escape now that the seed has been planted by the gypsy (her long lost mother).

This is a novel is full of emotionally damaged characters: Rose, her mother, her father, her husband, all who are dealing with the consequences of a life of bad choices.  Despite this, it was a story that held my interest all the way. I do believe, pitiful Rose, and her (3-legged dog Fat Gretel) will win a place in your heart, as they did in mine. They had me thinking about the two of them even after the final page was turned. RECOMMENDED - 4.5/5 stars (review Copy)

a few touching quotes

"My mother had been counting off the days literally behind my father's back. Marking time. Like any prisoner might. She hadn't begun at the start of their marriage, though. She'd begun at the start of me. The first line counted the days after my birth until the New Year. There were eighteen lines, each standing for a year she'd have to serve me to get to adulthood......................................She'd planned to stay another ten years, looked like, but she'd let herself out early. Time off for good behavior?"

"I wanted to be done with the violent,  angry girl my mother had created with her leaving, and I'd long been done with Ro."

15 comments:

  1. I loved this book, too, but I did have a little bit of a soft spot for Ro. I know she had her problems, but it was no wonder!

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  2. This looks like a great book. Thanks for reviewing!

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  3. I am so glad you liked this book, however your feelings for the characters may have been! I really want to read this book - the cover alone intrigues me!

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  4. I really liked "The Girl Who Stopped Swimming" by this author so I imagine I'd like this. She has a knack for doing offbeat premises like this and making them work.

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  5. It is difficult to read about such troubled characters. I'm glad you liked it even though it was a challenge.

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  6. How sad is this...2 things stood out to me to make me want to read this: Her middle name is Mae (same as mine) and the 3-legged dog Fat Gretel. How can I pass it up?

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  7. I've read the author's other books and really enjoyed them, so I look forward to this one also. Annie

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  8. Yay! I haven't read this one yet - I've listened to her three previous novels, and she does have a way with damaged characters. I've really enjoyed all of her other work, so I'll be looking for this one soon! thanks for the review!

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  9. Great review - if you are interested... let me know if you would like to join our discussion this Weds (8PM). We will be discussing the book with the author. No pressure :)

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  10. This sounds like a really intriguing book, and I have just entered a giveaway for a copy. Now I am really hoping that I win because this sounds great. I sometimes end up loving books in which every character is unlikeable, so that doesn't turn me off at all!

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  11. I am so pleased to hear it is good. I hope to read Gods in Alabama this month.

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  12. I am mesmerized by that cover. I keep darting back to look at it while reading your review.

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  13. I have this one in my TBR list and think I will listen to it next (just finished an audiobook).

    Sometimes I think the mark of a very good book is when I don't like any of the characters. I guess b/c the author has to work to win me over to keep reading until the end.

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  14. Loved your review. Can't wait to read this one and about Fat Gretel. LOL Southern settings really sucker me in. Love em.

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  15. This is my next read. Glad to see you enjoyed it!

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