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Backseat Saints

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3.81  ·  Rating details ·  8,124 Ratings  ·  1,027 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
ebook, 352 pages
Published June 8th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Amanda
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
...more
Karla
Jun 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
BookLover
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
...more
Alexandra
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Tania
Jun 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Maicie
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...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
Jul 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Tina
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
Lawyer
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Christine
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Kim
Feb 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 o
...more
M
Jul 11, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Judy Collins
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Vickie
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
...more
Jen
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Lynnie
Jun 01, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Donna
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Cheri
Jul 08, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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'
Yuki
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Marilyn F
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than I expected. Even before the unexpected ending, the before ending was also well done. And the writing and inside of character's head well done.
Susan
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
Katie Kenig
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Sheila DeChantal
Sep 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Laura
May 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Callie
Sep 07, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Backseat Saints 1 5 Jan 16, 2012 10:24PM  
Nothing But Readi...: Jackson, Joshilyn - Backseat Saints - July 2011 Member's Choice 52 46 Aug 02, 2011 10:13AM  
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Jackson's latest novel, THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYONE, is now out in paperback. Her new book, THE ALMOST SISTERS, launches July 11th, 2017

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 Someone Else's Love Story. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, w
...more
More about Joshilyn Jackson...

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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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