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Backseat Saints

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  10,072 ratings  ·  1,215 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
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,072 ratings  ·  1,215 reviews

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Jun 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog
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
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
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
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Though the premise of this story is not unique, the wonderful storytelling by Joshilyn Jackson made Backseat Saints a favourite of mine. This book was intense!

Rose Mae Lolley was living a very dangerous life but it was the only one she knew how to live. A warning from a gypsy started to permeate her deliberate ignorance about where her marriage is headed and set Rose Mae on a path to confront her past.

I found this story so stressful that I had to put it down for several days. I kept contemplatin
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
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished-in-2011
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
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Exactly what I needed, and easy-reading story with lots of emotion. My only problem was that I did not realize that this book was based on a minor character from Gods in Alabama (which I read earlier this year), so I got very confused a quarter way in thinking that the author is repeating the exact same who-dunnit. I found most of the characters incredibly self-centred which makes perfect sense if you look at their background. I love that this author can tackle heavy issues in a light way.

The St
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.
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 11, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Jun 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Book Mitch
May 26, 2012 rated it really liked it

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
Jul 08, 2010 rated it did not like it
I was rooting for Thom to kill her. I wanted to kill her. The only multideminational character in the book was the dog'Fat Greta' ...more
The parallel story to Gods in Alabama. A story with humor and sadness, but about a very, real problem - domestic abuse in all forms. This book takes on the story of Rose Mae Lolley. I listened to Backseat Saints on audio and while I cannot say that I liked it as much as Gods In Alabama, it is well done. Joshilyn Jackson is quite the storyteller.

Star Rating: 3.5
I have read two other of Jackson's books, one of which I loved, and one of which I liked a lot. They made me eager to read other books she wrote. This one was a big disappointment. The main character, Rose Mae or Ro, uses her two names to distinguish two personalities she feels are within her. Unfortunately, I can't tell one from the other because both seem to be completely man-centric, and abusive man-centric, at that. And then she comes up with with a new name, Ivy, that is for her new life. A ...more
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Lawyer 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
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
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads, favorites
I had never heard of Joshilyn Jackson before, until she was recommended to me in my Scribd account. I noticed that she narrates all her audio books, and I absolutely love when authors do that. I think it adds another wonderful layer to the story.

Backseat Saints is about a woman whose husband beats her. Although the story deals with tough topics, Jackson presents it with humor and honesty. Rose is a tough woman, and this book showcases the fact that a woman is not weak if she is being abused.

Donna Davis
Every. Single. Time. Full review will probably be up soon.
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks-read
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 of wh
Katie Kenig
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: chicklit
I have gone back and forth multiple times over my star rating for this novel. And here is where I tell you why:

First, Backseat Saints is the story of what it means to live in a marriage "made of swords." It is about the cycle of domestic violence and how it is passed down through generations. And, fundamentally, it is about a woman who is afraid that it has come down to killing her husband before he manages to beat her to death.

The main character in Backseat Saints bothered me a little. She was
Judy D Collins
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 Grande
Backseat Saints is the second Joshilyn Jackson novel I have read, and I really enjoy this author. Actually, I listened to this one (narrated by Joshilyn Jackson). This time, the topics of domestic abuse, abandonment, and alcoholism are covered.

I liked the character of Rose Mae/Ro - a young victim who is abandoned by her mother and left to be reared by her alcoholic and abusive father. As is often the case, Rose Mae marries a man very similar to her father. Although the role of the saints/religi
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 rev ...more
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary
I love this author. She is so funny and I enjoy her books immensely. This is my third novel I’ve read that was written by her and I was not disappointed. The way she writes about things makes me feel that it is all brand new to me and it is ever so vivid. Even though this book encompasses some serious issues like alcoholism, abuse, abandonment, and murder, which are topics frequently used in a lot of books, she makes it sound as if I have never read it before. And did I mention she is funny. I a ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Trigger warning: This book deals graphically with domestic abuse. If you have issues with that, it would be advisable not to read this.

I have read two other books by Joshilyn Jackson, The Almost Sisters and Gods in Alabama, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed. In those books, there were secondary characters who suffered abuse but the main characters did not. In Backseat Saints, an abused secondary character from gods in Alabama takes center stage and, like many women who were abused as childr
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This wasn't a bad read but I was kind of disappointed. I liked her other book A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty so much better. I felt like I still needed some answers to a few things.mAt some,point, I am going to read Gods in Alabama. I know this book's main character (Rose Mae) was a minor character in Gods in Alabama...maybe there's something in that book which will answer some of my questions. ...more
Frau Sorge (Yuki)
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
St. Christopher follow me
St. Christopher follow me
You seem to know the road better than me
St. Christopher don't dare me 'cause
Everytime you raise your voice
And tell me I don't have a choice
I've packed my bags got one foot out the door
And I won't take no more...
(Devil Doll)

Wow. I'm surprised how much I liked it. Read it in one sitting, all right.
"It was an airport gypsy who told me that I had to kill my husband."

Joshilyn Jackson has always been a tough nut for me to crack. On the one hand her writing is full of wit and small town southern slender, but on the other I hand I've never been able to fully fall in love with her stories.

Confession: I hated Gods in Alabama, and I realize I'm probably in the minority on that. I felt like Jim Beverly was too glorified and I hated Arlene, I just couldn't believe her story. That's not to say t
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Jackson's latest novel, NEVER HAVE I EVER pubs July 30, 2019

New York Times and USA today bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of NEVER HAVE I EVER and eight other books, including gods in Alabama and The Almost Sisters. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the year, three times been a #1 Book Sense Pick, been the Target Book Club Pick, a

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