Backseat Saints
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Backseat Saints

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  5,662 ratings  ·  846 reviews
Rose Mae Lolley's mother disappeared when she was eight, leaving Rose with a heap of old novels and a taste for dangerous men. Now, as demure Mrs. Ro Grandee, she's living the very life her mother abandoned. She's all but forgotten the girl she used to be-teenaged spitfire, Alabama heartbreaker, and a crack shot with a pistol-until an airport gypsy warns Rose it's time to...more
Kindle Edition, 362 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2010)
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Amanda
To the outside world, Ro Grandee seems to have a good life: she's a beautiful woman married to a good looking and attentive husband from a well-respected family in Amarillo, Texas. However, after an airport gypsy tells Ro that she must kill her husband, we learn that Ro's picture perfect life is a facade that hides a marriage full of fear, violence, and abuse. Now, armed with only her pawpy's old gun, Ro plans her husband's murder, but will she be able to pull the trigger?

Backseat Saints begins...more
Karla
We have all heard stories of abuse and how it ends. This may start to come across as a quirky read because of the humor but Backseat Saints brings abuse, abandonment, alcoholisum, and absolution together with a pragmatic understanding through a realistic yet unpredictable, spitfire of a southern Alabaman woman on the edge. I had several moments where I thought this could all tick into a explosive time bomb ready to blow into one hot mess and scatter like cheep tacky lawn art. But I really found...more
treehugger
Joshilyn Jackson's novels are like extra helpings of mashed potatoes and turkey gravy on thanksgiving - so, incredibly, satisfying!! Her characters are so well drawn, her language so crisp and imagery so alive...

This book is about Rose May Lolley, who makes her encore appearance from gods in Alabama and her disastrous history with men, her father and husband especially. A great book about love, redemption, the mother/daughter bond, battered women, and the meanness and violence so inherent within...more
Alexandra
I decided to read this after reading Gods in Alabama by the same author. I was surprised to see that Rose Mae Lolley was the main character in a different book. The book involved more of a connection to Gods in Alabama than I had expected. But I didn't enjoy this book as much as I had enjoyed Gods in Alabama.

I understand that Rose Mae Lolley isn't the same person when she's with her abusive husband, Thom. But reading about her talking about herself as if she's talking about a friend (using the t...more
Alisha Marie
I picked up Backseat Saints because I saw an ad about it on Goodreads which had a line that went something like "A gypsy told me I had to kill me husband or he'd kill me." Immediately, I thought "Wow! This seems like it could have a lot of potential..." And I was not mistaken. Backseat Saints was an amazing and gripping novel. It wasn't what I expected in the most wonderful way.

I tend to love novels about the South. While most people I know want to live in California or New York or England, etc....more
Diane
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 youn...more
Maicie
I could not put this book down this morning; the breakfast dishes are still in the sink and the dog is looking at her empty food bowl with frustration.

I love chick lit. Not ‘woman meets the man of her dreams’ romance but ‘woman kicks the man to the curb and gets a life’ drama. This novel fit the bill nicely. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Ro Grandee crosses paths with a tarot reader and is told her future contains death: it’s either her or her abusive husband. She takes off knowing...more
Michelle (tinyturtle88)
3.5

This story struck a chord in me. It's the familiar situation of an abusive husband, who once he is left by his wife, becomes an abusive father to the daughter left behind. The daughter grows up thinking this is what men are like, and history repeats itself. It takes a lot for her to wake up and become brave enough to make a change and escape but her fear is what most women fear in these situations-he'll find you and make you pay.

I listened to this on audio and one of the best things about it...more
Kasa Cotugno
On the surface, this book, which is a companion piece to the author's Gods in Alabama, is another rehashing of poor southern womanhood gathering scars from parental abuse and marrying a man who will dish out more of the same so she can rise about all victorious. But there is a twist. Rose Mae Lolley sees herself as a nesting doll, nested inside a another persona she calls Ro Grandee (her married name). Her husband Thom is also damaged by his overbearing father, and the facts that they are both e...more
Jen
Can't say enough good stuff about this author, so I will just copy & paste the same thing for each book*...I don't think it's ever taken me longer than two days to finish a Joshilyn book! She weaves the most entertaining tales that have just the right mixture of happy, sad, hope, fear, normalcy, and dysfunction and nails it every single time! Thus far, they have always centered around a strong-willed female character from the South who is on some sort of personal journey that requires her to...more
Kim
Joshilyn Jackson is a TRUE storyteller! Not only does she weave a wonderful tale on paper, but she is also extremely entertaining as the reader of her own story. I read this via audiobook & her reading was an experience all in itself. She was perfect! She did a great southern accent and voices for various characters. I loved the book, but having her read it to me made it another experience entirely! I highly recommend this on audio, you cannot be disappointed!
I won't go into a summary here o...more
Chrissy
Jun 02, 2010 Chrissy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Southern fiction, fans of Joshilyn Jackson
( Originally posted on RAO Reviews )

I have long avoided general contemporary fiction because I've never really met one I liked—save perhaps Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones' Diary. I tried again last year to broaden my reading palate with Julia Leigh's Disquiet, only to yet again be thoroughly disappointed and slip back into my comfortable world of historical dramas and fantasy/sci-fi.

When I was offered the chance to read and review Backseat Saints, I thought to myself "Why not? Maybe I'll even be...more
Michelle
Does anyone ever know who we truly are? Do we even know? It is into this theme the reader descends as s/he is immersed in Joshilyn Jackson’s Backseat Saints. As Rose Mae/Ro flees her marriage and attempts to set out on her own, she must ultimately uncover who she is and why she keeps hiding before she can ever hope to be free.

Rose Mae and Ro are two facets of the same person, born out of necessity as a coping mechanism to survive abusive relationships. However, these personas have been adopted f...more
M
I guess, if pushed, I could give this a 1.5 for having SOME redeeming qualities, but in truth those redeeming qualities only reinforced how much better this book could have been, and wasn't. Reading this felt like when I read my students' papers and cross out whole paragraphs only to then come to one sentence and circle it saying, YES! YES! MORE LIKE THIS!!
I don't do well with stories of battered women, and this one was not only hard to read for all the usual reasons, but it was baffling and dis...more
Callie
A Southern woman stuck in an abusive marriage. The first ten or so chapters were riveting. For most of this time, she is still in her marriage and working through making the decision to get out. Dealing with the parts of herself she has created to enable to live like this, trying to understand them and shed them. Once she lives her husband and begins a set of forays out into different parts of the country for different reasons, I lost some interest. Her husband and marriage were more interesting...more
Clarissa
Jackson has woven a tale so thick with twists and turns it makes my 5 year old daughter's hair look smooth. Ro Grandee is stuck in an abusive marriage to man she is desperately in love with. How can a woman love a man who hits her? This novel does a nice job of letting us begin to understand. Jackson has done her homework. Ro Grandee suffers much the same way that other abused women suffer. She has limited access to money, her husband has closed off her circle of friends. She only has one secret...more
Laura
I fell in love with Rose, Ro and Ivey Rose. These are all the same person but each name goes with each part of Rose's life. This book tugs at your heart as you want Rose to find love and peace in her life so badly. Rose has had a hard life beginning with being abandoned by her mother at 8, only to be raised by an alcoholic father. Like most children of Domestic Violence, she goes on to choose a husband who also believes in DV (Domestic Violence) as a way to "keep her in line". Rose tries so hard...more
Danielle
It theoretically possible that someday, Joshilyn Jackson will write a book with a female protagonist that I don't latch onto. However, this is not that book. We have met Rose Mae Lolley before, as a secondary character in gods in Alabama, but now her story is brought glaringly to the forefront.[return][return]Jackson tells the story of three women, living inside one body: the deferential and abused Ro Grandee, the spunky and dangerous Rose Mae Lolley, and the glimmer of a person that might have...more
Jess
Rose Mae (sometimes Ro) is a woman who is on the edge of a cliff and debating what to do. No, she's not really on a cliff, but rather a metaphorical one. She's currently trapped in a marriage that is anything but healthy and she has to decide what she is willing to do after an encounter with a tarot card reader who reads a depressing fortune for her.

I think the number one question/thought that came into my mind as I read this book was, "How much more can one person take?". That seemed to be the...more
Kathy
Backseat Saints introduces us to Ro Grandee and her abusive husband, Tom. Ro has evolved from Rose Mae Lolly, who spent the last 10 years of her childhood being beaten by her Daddy.

Ms. Jackson does a terrific job of helping us understanding how and why this character is stuck in her current situation, but makes us root so hard for her escape. What I loved about the story was the focus on Rose Mae, on how if it wasn't Tom, it was some other bad, mean guy. Her realization that she needed to kill...more
Erica
This book kept you wanting to read but just did not deliver. I thought the main character Ro/Rose (depending on which personality she was working with at the time) was not only unlikeable but also unrelatable with pretty much no redeeming qualities. I wanted her to have some personal growth, - which never happened - take any responsibility for her life in general, - also never happened - and grow up. She says how she was the prettiest girl in high school several times and all I could think was,...more
Sheila DeChantal
Rose Mae Lolley knew the power she had over men... they looked at her and they liked what they seen. As a teenager and as a young woman Rose Mae knew how to get what she wanted with a bat of an eye...

But now, that wild flirty girl Rose Mae is buried down deep, and Ro, as she now goes by, is quiet, patronizing, shy, and trapped in a marriage to Tom Grandee filled with both love and abuse. No longer does Rose wear the frilly sleeveless shirts of her youth, traded instead for Ro's wardrobe of long...more
Jouraine
This book got a whopping 2 stars for the fact that I continued reading until the end. I read gods In Alabama and liked it a lot so when I saw this book I was very quick to grab it.

It started out well enough but then things started happening that I could not get past, and wouldn't get out of the way for me to accept the rest of what was going on. For example, there is that serendipitous airport meeting. There are so many questions that were left unanswered with that, and then trying to clear thin...more
Mike
Mar 03, 2010 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Mike by: Jake Reiss, owner, Alabama Booksmith
Joshilyn Jackson consistently tells a good story. However, this novel carries a message about a compelling problem in our society--domestic violence, in all its variations, verbal, emotional, physical and sexual. Rose Mae Lolley is an Alabama girl, left by her mother with her father when she was only eight. Rose remembers hiding under her bed at nights when she would hear the screams coming from her parents' room. And when Rose is left alone with her father, she takes her mother's place as her f...more
Lynnie
I wanted to love this book- I really did. I really enjoyed BETWEEN, GA- one of Joshilyn Jackson's previous books- so I was looking forward to her writing style again. This book though, didn't really pick up until the second half. The first half, in fact, rather dragged on. Without giving away too much plot, it wasn't until Rose got moving, that the story got moving. Mostly though, I felt that the title was unfortunate. While the saints were part of the story, they were so little of the story, I...more
Linda
Backyard Saints was a difficult book to read in that it dealt with a prevalent problem that exists all around us. The problem of abuse and neglect. The main character Rose Mae Lolly is an abused wife and was an abused child. Much of the novel is filled with her constant effort to avoid the frightening and devastating physical and mental abuse by her husband. Unfortunately her father was also terribly abusive and reflections back to her childhood get jumbled with her present day situations.

As Ro...more
Kenna
I nearly stopped reading “Backseat Saints” by Joshilyn Jackson a handful of times. I’m glad I finished it, but I wouldn’t read it again.

The book tells the story of Rose Mae Lolly, a housewife whose husband physically abuses her. When an airport Gypsy tells Rose that she must kill her husband or die herself, the woman is faced with attempting to escape or getting away with murder.

The rest of the book follows Rose through enacting her decision while trying to reconcile a lifetime of abuse and poor...more
Jessica
I have to love an author whose message seems to be murder is okay when it is in the name of love! I love this darkness, but this seemed to create a potential essay for me on her theme of choice. Kill in the name of love, especially if it's to protect one's offspring.

I loved Rose Mae Lolley in Jackson's first novel, but we spend half the novel here filling in and leading up to the point in the first novel where Rose Mae shows up. This story becomes fill in and the next half is really Rose's story...more
Darcy
I liked this book, but found that the main character to be a contrast, there were times that I really liked and admired her, felt sorry for her, and wanted her to do what she wouldn't do, but then at other times I found that I hated her, thought she was selfish, and just plain self centered and unlikable.

While we watch Rose Mae through the story, learn her background we see why she is the way she is. She really didn't have a chance, my only hope is that the second chance she was given at the en...more
Telaina
This is a compelling page turner with a twist at the end. I finished the book in about a day and a half, which is very good for me in my current busy life. (Usually I read a book a week.) Why all the pieces didn't fit together for me, I just don't know. I guess I didn't think the saint metaphors worked well, I glossed over those parts quickly. I didn't truly believe this character was THAT Catholic, having only attended church until she was 8. I just didn't LIKE the protagonist very much. And I'...more
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SHORT VERSION:

Jackson's latest novel, SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY, pubs on November 19, 2013!

New York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Backseat Saints, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, and most recently, SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the yea...more
More about Joshilyn Jackson...
Gods in Alabama A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty Between, Georgia The Girl Who Stopped Swimming Someone Else's Love Story

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“I was looking for my ex-lover to break the Sixth Commandment.” 4 likes
“A pretty woman is a Christmas tree,' my mother told me in the airport. This fella is hanging things on my branches as his gaze sweeps from my face all the way down my body to my hips and then back to my face. Ideas fly from his widened eyes and land on me like teeny, decorative burdens. He is giving me shyness, maybe, some book smarts, and a certain yielding sweetness in bed. The oil-slick eyes get me, and I find myself hanging a few ornaments myself, giving him deft hands and a sense of humor.” 4 likes
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