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Backseat Saints

Average Rating 4
( 84 )
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(36)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 36 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    Dare you to put it down.

    The brilliant, relentless Jackson takes us on her most harrowing trip yet. A raw, unflinching account of domestic abuse from the most complex and interesting female character of the decade; this is not the book to put in your purse and nibble away at while you wait at the dentist! Rose Mae Lolley is anything but a wilting victim. This fierce female is the author of her own fragility, and only when her life is in danger does she act to turn the tables on her bullying husband. Jackson reinvents the concept of escape, as her character turns herself inside out again and again in search of an identity that gets her away. And you won't believe how it ends.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Backseat Saints

    My Synopsis:

    Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson

    Rose Mae's life hasn't been easy. Her mother abandoned her at 8 years old to a drunken father who used his fists to teach her about life. All the men in Rose Mae's life have had a penchant for violence, from her first love to her husband, Thom. As Rose Mae ran from Fruition, Alabama, she transformed herself into someone else. When she married Thom, she became Ro Grandee, a young woman who tries desperately to hide the bruises and scars of her violent life.

    When she unexpectedly meets a gypsy in the airport, Ro Grandee learns a hard lesson about her future. The tarot reading she receives lets Ro know that she can't keep Rose Mae Lolly down forever. It's either Rose or Thom! They both cannot survive this relationship. Rose knows what she has to do. But will she be able to do it? With Fat Gretal at her side, Rose Mae goes back to Fruition in search of help, what she finds is an ailing father and more questions than answers about her mother and her reasons for leaving. Will Rose Mae be able to get away from Thom before it's too late? How is the airport gypsy a part of Ro's life? Can a new hair cut and a new name be the answers her heart is looking for?

    My Thoughts:

    This was my first experience with Joshilyn Jackson. I had heard of gods of Alabama before, but had never had the opportunity to read any of her books.

    Jackson has a way of creating unique characters. This book is full of them. Rose Mae/Ro is a character that has had to face a lot of adversity, from her mother's disappearance from her life to her tumultuous relationship with her husband. She is both a strong and weak character. Strong in the fact that she was able to withstand this type of life and weak because she was unable to leave for so long. Rose Mae's character is almost one of a split personality. Rose Mae being the opposite of Ro. One almost enjoying the pain believing she deserves it and the other so desperate for acceptance and love that shes willing to take it.

    Domestic violence is a pretty heavy subject for a novel, but Jackson pulls it off with style. The reader is on the edge of their seat as Rose Mae hides on Wildcat Bluff. They are with her as she flees the Gun shop in the Buick. They watch as she staggers down the stairs and practically into Thom's waiting arms at the end of the novel. The theme of making up for mistakes you've made and finding forgiveness also permeates the book as we see Rose's relationship with her parents. Rose Mae's father and his apology letter, all the way to Rose Mae's mother's great sacrifice for her daughter.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 25, 2010

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    A Powerful Read!

    Ro Grandee is going to kill her husband. If she doesn't, he will surely kill her first. After living with a father that beat her, she has married a man equally, if not more, abusive. All it took was a fateful meeting with a tarot-reading gypsy in the airport, and Ro is finally ready to get herself out of her violent life. She begins to channel her younger, stronger self, Rose Mae, and sets out to get some closure and safety.

    I am such a fan of Jackson's books. They are deep family dramas, rich with southern atmosphere and heavy emotions. Taking the character of Jim Beverly from Gods in Alabama (in my opinion, also a 5 star book!) and writing an entirely new story from another point of view was quite a trip. I enjoy it when authors choose to revisit a town and it's characters, as it feels like there was more to tell- that the story wasn't quite done yet.

    I liked that Jackson slipped into southern dialect where it was relevant. Dialect can sometimes be terribly distracting, but it this case it was used to really flesh out the characters of Rose Mae's father and high school friends, to show the reader what her younger life was like. The writing was very powerful, often taking my breath away with it's stark honesty. It is hard to make something like domestic violence beautiful to read, but Jackson took Rose Mae's emotions and made them into something tangible that the reader can identify with and swallow. It may have been a hard book to stomach at times (especially the scenes with abuse), but I would read it all over again in a heartbeat.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 19, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Rose Mae Lolley may be my favorite Jackson heroine thus far. Com

    Rose Mae Lolley may be my favorite Jackson heroine thus far. Complex, an overcomer, a girl with a double dose of grit. Jackson proves a novelist can write larger-than-life characters who aren't professional football players or international movie stars and still produce a world-class book. Her characters are people who populate our lives, in this case a woman caught in a cycle of physical abuse. 5+ Stars

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  • Posted February 10, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    What a Ride!

    Another winner by Joshilyn Jackson – full of southern wit and some strong bad-ass women! I listened to the audio version (highly recommend as she is quite the storyteller) and she does it so well! Gripping, full of suspense and quirky characters, and as usual the author knows how to entertain southern style!

    This book covers so much, from abuse (father and husband) the author tells the story from a first person point of view and the main character (Ro) has two different personalities (Roe Grandee) –the lovely submissive housewife, which can be as sweet as honey no matter how much she is a punching bag and (Rose Mae Lolley) - grew up when her mother left her with her father which began abusing her. Later she became (Ivy) to hide from her abuser. As usual, at the hand of abuse – she stays as there are good times thinking he would change until the bad next time comes around once again.

    After many trips to the hospital, she finds a friendship with her next door neighbor (loved her), and when she takes her to the airport, she meets a tarot card reader (who happens to be her mom). She tells her she must kill her husband before he kills her.

    She plans a few different ways to make this happen (trying to shoot him herself), develop a new identity and leave town, and trying to track down an old boyfriend to do it for her.

    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. A page- turner from the first page to the last, full of humor, sass, and southern mischief!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    This is an excellent exploration of how screwed up womens psche can be from mom to daughter.

    Another great one by Ms. Jackson.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Excellent!!

    Great story teller. Couldn't put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2012

    Homerun!

    Each book gets better and better. My fav isbthe first one i picked up,w which was The Girl Who Stopped Swimming. All of her books are amazing. Never disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Never disappoints

    As a DV survivor, I found this book extremely honest. Once again she has written a book that will keep you turning pages well after bedtime. Certainly one of the best in the field.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Awesome book, awesome author.

    Awesome book, awesome author

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    What is it about Southern writers?

    I love the way they love the language. Joshilyn Jackson creates ripping good stories with characters that are complex. People you care about warts and all. These are people who want to be better, but are stuck in their humanity. I love these books...they're like dessert.

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  • Posted July 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    highly recommended

    this is a great book, I think people can identify with it in more ways than one, the mask that ro puts on everyday

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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    Joshilyn Jackson does it again!

    Another wonderful read from Joshilyn Jackson. Ro Grandee is living a life that she's very familiar with, since she's living the life of her mother. Why, though, is she still with her abusive husband -- unlike her mother who left when she was only eight? And when did the feisty Rose Mae Lolley, her previous self, start hiding beneath bruises and long-sleeved shirts without fighting back, simply content to remain Ro Grandee? Ro isn't sure how it happened, but she realizes that she needs to find Rose Mae somewhere within herself again and become something greater than she's ever been: herself. In the fight to find herself, she will learn more about her past that will launch her into her future. Will that lead to a strong, self-reliant woman, or one who just goes back to what she's always known? A perfect read for anyone who isn't sure if she can find her own strength without relying on others to provide it -- or for anyone who isn't even sure she needs to.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Southern Literature That Packs A Wallop

    Rose Mae Lolly is defined by one central fact. When she was eight, she went to school one morning and returned to find that her mother had left. She left to escape the beatings and abuse of her husband, but left Rose Mae to take her place as the target of her father's drunken rages. Rose Mae grew up knowing several things. She knew how to flirt with men and get under their skin. She knew the attraction of a controlling man. And she knew she was getting out of her little Alabama town as fast as she could.

    Fast forward fifteen years and Rose Mae Lolly has transformed into Ro Grandee. Ro is the wife of Tom Grandee, a handsome man who most women would be attracted to, but who happens to be the man who fits the pattern Ro grew up with. He controls her every move and beats her when she slips up. Ro tries to fit the role of the perfect housewife, making the usual excuses of the beatings being her fault, or that if she tries hard enough to please Tom, he'll learn to control his temper.

    A chance meeting at the local airport changes Ro's life. She is approached by a gypsy, who offers to tell her fortune. She tells Ro that she is in a battle to the death with Tom, and it will be her or him. If she stays Tom will kill her eventually. If she flees, he will come after her. As Ro thinks about this in the days afterward, several things become clear. The gypsy wasn't just a happenstance encounter; this was her long-departed mother who recognizes her life patterns in Ro's choices. She also realises that her mother is right; if she doesn't leave Tom, she is dead.

    Hitting the road with her pet dog and a new identity, Rose Mae returns for the first time in years to the town where she grew up. After laying some ghosts there, she begins to have an idea where her mother can be found, and takes off for her new home, hoping to find refuge. After finding her, mother and daughter must rebond and answer the hard questions of why they are each drawn to dangerous men and the nature of love.

    Joshily Jackson has written an incredible novel that explores the lives of abused women and shows how their minds work to the outside world. Settings are detailed and recognizable, and the characters are memorable. Rose Mae Lolly will quickly become a favorite of the reader and they will cheer her on in her attempt to reconcile her early life with her adult one. This book is recommended for readers interested in what makes people act in ways that seem outside the range of normal understanding.

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  • Posted July 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Backseat Saints

    Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson grabs your attention from the get go and doesn't turn you loose till the very end, I became obsessed with needing to know how Rose May/ Ivey Rose would wrap up her miserable marriage.
    This book is about three people Rose Mae Lolley, a young girl who leaves Alabama she is suppressed by Ms. Ro Grandee, a Texas housewife that had the unfortunate misfortune to marry a wife beater, and Ivey Rose Wheeler, the person who finally decides to leave. These three people are the same person, the different personas of one woman who has been abused in some form or other for most of her life.
    This story gives us a hard look at domestic violence. Ro Grandee did what she needed to survive. She is witty charming very smart and funny. There were several laugh out loud moments in this book. I found myself rooting for her and urging her on when she shot at her husband and then finally left him. Rose Mae and Gretel ( her three legged dog) has a way of getting into your heart and head, long after I had finished listening to this book I still think about them.
    This book was very pleasant to listen to, the dialect was very homey and really added to the story, I felt like I was listening to an old friend tell me her story.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

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    Bridget's Review

    I listened to this audiobook while working and I was still captivated by the story. I was able to relate to Rose on so many levels. She's an awesome person, even if she is only a work of fiction. Readers everywhere will drown themselves in Joshilyn's amazing work.

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  • Posted June 15, 2010

    Well worth the read!

    Joshilyn Jackson has turned out another gripping, page-turner, stay-up-all-night kind of book. She starts by giving you a character you can love. Rose Mae Lolley aka Ro Grandee, is so flawed and scarred yet tough and sassy that you can't help but cheer her on. Then, she puts them in a scary, impossible situaion. For Rose its when an airport gypsy tells her to kill her abusive husband before he can kill her it seems like a reasonable solution. But things go wrong and soon Ro is running, from her abusive husband, her dark past, and even sometimes from herself. Then, you stay up all night, frantic to find out what will happen to Rose and if she'll be okay in the end.

    All of Joshilyn Jackson's books have been intense and create a certain amount of anxiety about the future of her characters. Backseat Saints is the most intense yet, never allowing the reader a moment of rest until the end has finally come. If you are looking for a cozy, light read this book isn't for you! Jackson does a great job of developing her characters, giving the reader multi-dimensional, fully believable people. I especially appreciated her hard look at abuse and the part the victim plays in their own abuse. Well worth the read!

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    Posted July 1, 2011

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    Posted July 17, 2011

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    Posted July 15, 2011

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