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."