Nothing But Reading Challenges discussion

Backseat Saints
This topic is about Backseat Saints
49 views
Previous BRs - Authors; I - L > Jackson, Joshilyn - Backseat Saints - July 2011 Member's Choice

Comments Showing 1-50 of 52 (52 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Lisarenee (last edited Jun 30, 2011 09:59PM) (new) - added it

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson
This topic is open for discussion of Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson. Be prepared for SPOILERS.

Description on Goodreads:
Rose Mae Lolley is a fierce and dirty girl, long-suppressed under flowery skirts and bow-trimmed ballet flats. As "Mrs. Ro Grandee" she's trapped in a marriage that's thick with love and sick with abuse. Her true self has been bound in the chains of marital bliss in rural Texas, letting "Ro" make eggs, iron shirts, and take her punches. She seems doomed to spend the rest of her life battered outside by her husband and inside by her former self, until fate throws her in the path of an airport gypsy---one who shares her past and knows her future. The tarot cards foretell that Rose's beautiful, abusive husband is going to kill her. Unless she kills him first.

Hot-blooded Rose Mae escapes from under Ro's perky compliance and emerges with a gun and a plan to beat the hand she's been dealt. Following messages that her long-missing mother has left hidden for her in graffiti and behind paintings, Rose and her dog Gretel set out from Amarillo, TX back to her hometown of Fruiton, AL, and then on to California, unearthing a host of family secrets as she goes. Running for her life, she realizes that she must face her past in order to overcome her fate---death by marriage---and become a girl who is strong enough to save herself from the one who loves her best.

BACKSEAT SAINTS will dazzle readers with a fresh and heartwrenching portrayal of the lengths a mother will go to right the wrongs she's created, and how far a daughter will go to escape the demands of forgiveness. With the seed of a minor character from her popular best-seller, GODS IN ALABAMA, Jackson has built a whole new story full of her trademark sly wit, endearingly off-kilter characters, and utterly riveting plot twists.

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Published June 8th 2010 by Grand Central Publishing


Shay | 923 comments I chose this book because I read and loved her other book, Gods in Alabama. The opening lines for that book are: "There are Gods in Alabama: Jack Daniel's, high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also Jesus. I left one back there myself, back in Possett. I kicked it under the kudzu and left it to the roaches."

I find that whenever I'm in a reading slump, I gravitate towards quirky, Southern books.

Backseat Saints is divided into 3 parts, contains 17 chapters and an epilogue. How much should we read daily (if you want to go the route of a schedule)? When does everyone anticipate getting a copy of the book?


Micha (micha85) | 32 comments I already have my paperback copy! :)

I haven't finished reading the book I'm on at the moment but did read the first few pages to get a feel of it - and happy to say that I'm quite excited.

Actually, I think I was quite excited after reading just that first sentence.

I don't feel I can make a suggestion to help with your question since I've not read a book this way before! Sorry about that, but did feel the need to say that I look forward to it.


Shay | 923 comments Michelle, that's the opening line for her other book, gods in Alabama. I believe that the stories are sort of related- not as sequels. Just that one of the minor characters from gods in Alabama appears in Backseat Saints.


message 5: by Lisarenee (new) - added it

Lisarenee | 7659 comments I've got a copy.


Micha (micha85) | 32 comments Hi Shay,

No I was referring to the opening sentence to Backseat Saints. It just made me want to read more! :)


Shay | 923 comments Should we start on the 5th or the 6th? Even though I don't really have a life I'm going to assume people will be doing stuff for the 4th of July.

If we did, say 3 chapters a day that would be 6 days. Assuming the chapters are around the same length, that's about 50 pages a day. That okay?


Micha (micha85) | 32 comments I'm good to start whenever... uh, but I started it as soon as I finished my last book already. Didn't think I'd get through a game of thrones until later this week. And since the 4th is just another Monday here in the UK I'm also good to wait a day or two to start discussing the book.

Happy Independence Day for those that are celebrating it.


Shay | 923 comments I'll put up some questions this evening and we can start reading tomorrow, July 6th. Feeling under the weather today- all the firework smoke from last night- can't breathe well today.

My Hawaii neighbors- quite a few of them- appear to have discovered the Indian Reservation and bought up a bunch of fireworks. The illegal kind that you can buy on the reservation and smuggle back into town. It was still smoggy when I got up.


message 10: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Chapter 1-3 Questions:

1. Just a general question. Do you read a lot of Southern Fiction? What about it appeals to you, especially if you're not from the South.
2. Why do you think Rose's mom appeared at the airport? Do you believe she knew Rose was in trouble?
3. Why do you think Thom saved the dog?
4. Why does Rose stay with Thom?


Micha (micha85) | 32 comments Thanks Shay! I hope you're feeling better now. The reservations I visited when I was in AZ in May had wonderful jewellery in their gift shops. I had no idea they sold illegal fireworks at this time of year too.

Anyways... the questions :)

1. Nope. I generally just read whatever takes my fancy at the time, so I don't go out of my way to read fiction that's set in a specific place. Although most of the books I seem to read are set in America somewhere - which is interesting for me as this year was the first time I visited America (culture shock).

2. I get the feeling that Roses mother was there because she knew that there was danger approaching for Rose. How she happened to be at the airport at the same time Rose was, I can't figure out.

3. I can't quite see why Thom picked her up and made sure she was seen to, but maybe it's because deep down under all the nasty that we see of him he has a good side.

4. I can relate to rose for a few reasons, and one is being in a nasty relationship. When I was there, I had all my confidence stripped away and felt like I wasn't good enough to be without him - thankfully I didn't try shooting my ex though. I think that's partly why she stays.


message 12: by Lisarenee (new) - added it

Lisarenee | 7659 comments I'll start reading today.


message 13: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Questions for Chapters 4-6

1. Do you think Rose believed that Thom had changed after the shooting? Do you think that deep down she knew it would happen again?
2. Why does Thom physically abuse his wife? Do you think he was abused as a child? (by his father?)
3. Why didn't Rose leave after the shooting? Do you think Thom suspected she did it?
4. Do you think that Rose will decide to have a baby?


Verena | 9 comments Shay wrote: "Chapter 1-3 Questions:

1. Just a general question. Do you read a lot of Southern Fiction? What about it appeals to you, especially if you're not from the South.
I wouldn't say I read a lot of Southern fiction, but I enjoy most of them ... just not this one ;)

2. Why do you think Rose's mom appeared at the airport? Do you believe she knew Rose was in trouble?
I finished the book already so yes, she knew about Rose's troubles. It seems a bit surreal that she 'just happens' to be at the airport at the same time as her daughter. Very logical explanation at the end ;)

3. Why do you think Thom saved the dog?
Perhaps as a result of a temporarily changed personality? I was just as surprised as Ro.

4. Why does Rose stay with Thom?
Out of fear, because she has been pretending to be a certain type of person for so long and the abuse was part of it. Up until the last pages of the book I did not see a true identity.

:) Verena



Verena | 9 comments Shay wrote: "Questions for Chapters 4-6

1. Do you think Rose believed that Thom had changed after the shooting? Do you think that deep down she knew it would happen again?
I think she enjoyed the moment but realized that it would not last forever.

2. Why does Thom physically abuse his wife? Do you think he was abused as a child? (by his father?)
He uses Ro as an emotional outlet for his unresolved issues with his family. I assume emotional abuse by the father, but not physical.

3. Why didn't Rose leave after the shooting? Do you think Thom suspected she did it?
I do not think Thom suspected her of trying to kill him but her absence would have been equal to a confession.

4. Do you think that Rose will decide to have a baby?
No, she knows Thom won't change and she does not want to repeat her own childhood.

:) Verena



Micha (micha85) | 32 comments Shay wrote: "Questions for Chapters 4-6

1. Do you think Rose believed that Thom had changed after the shooting? Do you think that deep down she knew it would happen again?

No I don't think she believed this. I suspect that she believed that he was trying to be a better man, but was always expecting to be hit.

2. Why does Thom physically abuse his wife? Do you think he was abused as a child? (by his father?)
Thom is using his anger as an outlet of his frustration brought on by his relatives. Taking it out on Rose because, well, because he can.

3. Why didn't Rose leave after the shooting? Do you think Thom suspected she did it?
It sounds like the only thing Thom suspects Rose for is having an affair. I think she stayed because she didn't feel like she had the means to leave or maybe because she was lulled into a false sense of security by Thom.

4. Do you think that Rose will decide to have a baby?
Not with Thom, that's for sure. She sees the danger in having a fist-happy husband while pregnant and probably isn't prepared to put herself through that.


message 17: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments I love Southern fiction. I'm not from the South. I summered there a lot as a child in various states- Alabama, Georgia, Virginia, etc. In some ways, a lot of Southern culture is similar to Hawaii where I grew up. I especially like it because I'm not an "expert" on Southern culture, so I don't pick those books apart. Like I do with books about Hawaii- all I can see are the mistakes and errors.

I really don't know why Thom saved the dog. Seems out of character. It seems like it would have been a good way to get rid of his "competition"- the only other thing she had in her life. I guess I'm thinking of it as people, including Thom, aren't all bad.


message 18: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Questions: Chapter 7-9

1. Rose thinks about her mother doing things to save money- to fund her escape from her abusive marriage. Rose wonders why she never did the same. Why do you think Rose never came up with an escape plan? Did she think Thom could change?

2. Why didn't Rose's mother take her?

3. What do you make of Rose's quest to find her old boyfriend, Jim? Is this why she stayed so long? She's looking for someone to save her instead of saving herself? She needs something to run to?


Verena | 9 comments Shay wrote: "Questions: Chapter 7-9

I think Q.1 ties in with Q.3: Rose had this ideal of a man (and when you read on Jim is actually not described as the prince Rose implies he is with her quest to find him)and being with a man seems to be vital to her.

Major spoilers coming up ....

I have asked myself throughout the book why the mother left her child behind. When Mirabelle confesses her feelings toward Rose as a child and her animosity towards the relationship she had with the father (and the dog)I couldn't help myself thinking what a sad person Mom had to be. On top of that, she creates her own reality of the father not abusing the daughter. I did experience some resentment toward the mother even though she left clues all over the place for her daughter to find (but in reality, those were almost impossible to figure out).

:) Verena



message 20: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Verena, I haven't read further, but I think I'm going to find it impossible to like Rose's mother if she reappears in the story. I can't imagine leaving your child in that situation.


message 21: by Lisarenee (new) - added it

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Chapter 1-3 Questions:

1. Just a general question. Do you read a lot of Southern Fiction? What about it appeals to you, especially if you're not from the South.


This may be the first.

2. Why do you think Rose's mom appeared at the airport? Do you believe she knew Rose was in trouble?

Could Rose's friend have somehow set it up? Very strange. I'm really not sure.

3. Why do you think Thom saved the dog?

At first I thought it was for Rose, then I thought maybe for the bullet? He didn't take it to the vet.

4. Why does Rose stay with Thom?

Fear.


message 22: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments I think Thom must have taken it to the vet, the dog had its leg amputated.


message 23: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Questions Chapters 10-12

1. Maybe I missed something... I don't have a good idea how the title relates to the book. I'm also reading Outlander- it's pretty clear and obvious what it means. What does Backseat Saints mean?

2. Why does Rose come back after she fails to find Jim? She says it's that she didn't have money. But why didn't she have money or take money? Did she assume she'd find Jim and he'd save her?

3. Rose had all of the "pieces" that told her a lot about Jim's true character. Yet, she held him out as her savior for years. Why? What finally caused her to rethink Jim's character?


message 24: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments I don't know why it took me so long, but it finally struck me that this abusive, horrible family owns a gun store. It's like an alcoholic owning a bar.


message 25: by Lisarenee (new) - added it

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Shay said, "Maybe I missed something... I don't have a good idea how the title relates to the book. I'm also reading Outlander- it's pretty clear and obvious what it means. What does Backseat Saints mean?

I haven't read that far yet my first thought would be that like a backseat driver someone must claim to be religious, but just talks the talk and doesn't walk the walk. That they give advice but don't follow it? I'll have to read farther to see if that is even a possibility.


message 26: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments I kind of feel bad because sometimes I want to scream at Rose myself. Just don't get why she doesn't leave. I guess that's part of why it ends up being so hard for many battered women to leave. Eventually, friends and family just fall away because they get disgusted or can't bear to watch. Then, the woman feels even more trapped- like she has nowhere to go.

What did everyone think about Rose's father? Waiting all that time to apologize? I thought it was kind of creepy. Also, it seems like the apology was more about him than about those he hurt. He wants to be forgiven; he wants to feel better. I think the father still comes off as selfish. If he really wanted to atone, why not do something for Rose?


message 27: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Chapter 13-15 questions:

1. Do you think Rose's mother set up her "Underground Railroad" for battered women out of guilt? To atone for something?

2. Why do you think that her mother is maintaining a distance from Rose? She seems so unhappy and uncomfortable that Rose showed up.

3. What do you think is in the letter from Rose's father?


Verena | 9 comments Shay wrote: "Questions Chapters 10-12

I am not quite sure in what aspect the title of the book refers to the story. My theory is that it refers to Mirabelle, who tries to rehabilitate battered women (on her own terms) and who ultimately takes charge of Rose's life by making the decision to kill her husband. The end of the book hints at Rose taking over her mother's 'job', thus becoming the saint for other people .... ?

Her quest for Jim seems a bit absurd to me; I didn't 'get' the entire section of Rose going to Chicago to see Arlene.



Verena | 9 comments Shay wrote: "Chapter 13-15 questions:

Oh, see, I thought Rose's mother used the Saints to escape her situation. I believe she took on this new identity (Mirabelle) and palm-reading as a way to hide from her own self. She did not have a husband who was looking for her or threatening her life. I think she was a deeply troubled person who found strength in helping other women to a new life. She was comfortable in this guru-like status but underneath it all, to me, she seems very scared and needy.

Mirabelle is uncomfortable with Rose's appearance because Rose dares to turn the tables on her. All these years, Mirabelle was invisible and acting in the background. Now, Rose seems in charge and, rightfully, demanding the answers Mirabelle wasn't willing to give.

I imagine a letter containing phrases of apology, accusation, explanations, and excuses. I am not sure if Mirabelle actually read the letter in the end.



message 30: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Questions for Chapters 16-18

1. Did you like the ending?

2. What did you make of Mirabelle's explanation for why she left Rose with her father? Was she justifying it/rationalizing/making excuses for leaving Rose? Did she honestly believe Rose was safe?

3. Why do you think Rose took over her mother's place? (In helping battered women)


message 31: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Verena, uncomfortable is a good word. I think Mirabelle was also uncomfortable with Rose showing up because Rose was kind of a symbol that she built her life on a lie. I'm thinking of how the lady at the library thought so well of Mirabelle because of her work with women. How would these people have felt about her if they knew she had abandoned a daughter who basically took her place as daddy's punching bag? I don't think we ever got an explanation for her abrupt departure from Rose's life.


Micha (micha85) | 32 comments Hi all!

I'd like to apologise for being really quiet after starting to join in with this discussion and was unable to continue really... Travelled a whole day to visit family to tell them some good news only to be told some bad news which has knocked me for six.

Having said that, I did finish Backseat Saints before I went and really enjoyed the book. First piece of southern fiction for me (since I'm in Scotland, and other than Scottish authors, authors from other places aren't really highlighted as must-reads unless they're in current bestseller lists over here) and certainly not the last!

I intend to find me a copy of Gods in Alabama :)

Thank you, Shay for bringing this book to my attention. Thoroughly enjoyed the read!


message 33: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Michelle, I thought gods in Alabama was a better book.

I searched www.betterworldbooks.com and they have a few copies for $3.48 and they ship worldwide for free with no minimum. They mostly have used books which I know is a problem for some people. I think the free shipping is on their "in stock" books, but I'm not sure. Just a note about ordering- if they have multiple copies, they won't always add the book in the best condition so make sure you add the specific book. Also, a "good" library copy isn't always as good as a regular "good" copy. It's kind of a crapshoot- I've sometimes gotten "good" library used books that were pristine except for the library stamps on the sides. http://www.betterworldbooks.com/gods-...


message 34: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Oh, also, Michelle, when you have time can you recommend some good Scottish authors? Any really good historical fiction books about Bonnie Prince Charlie, Jacobites, etc.?


Micha (micha85) | 32 comments Thanks Shay...

I've just come home from town, went to both Waterstones stores in the city centre and neither had any Joshilyn Jackson. Apparently the last time they sole a copy of her books was in 2008, so will definitely bookmark betterworldbooks.com!

Did buy a few more books... which is quite naughty of me since I already have a stack of books I want to read. lol

I've never really given historical fiction much of a chance, but I'm happy to do some digging and maybe hit my local library for some as they have a section on Scottish authors.

If you'd like to see how well your translation skills from Scots dialect to proper English - this will certainly be a fun read!

Selected Poetry (Poetry Library) by Robert Burns

Robert Burns is a famous Scottish poet and is often referred to as our nations Baird. Every year on his birthday we celebrate by having what we call a "Burns Supper". There are usually bagpipes, a top table (similar to a wedding) where people perform his poetry, including "To A Haggis" at which point a Sgian Dubh (a little dagger) is often plunged into the haggis which starts off the feast - of Haggis, Neeps (turnip) and Tatties (potatoes) washed down with far too much whisky.

I've got a soft spot for him especially because I was born on his birthday. But even I sometimes struggle to understand his poetry - since I lived with English relatives for my formidable years and now have an American man to keep me company in my life lol.


Verena | 9 comments Shay wrote: "Questions for Chapters 16-18

1. Did you like the ending?

The ending is alright, believable and it leaves enough room for the reader's imagination. It fits the story and I can see that there may be a sequel in the works.

2. What did you make of Mirabelle's explanation for why she left Rose with her father? Was she justifying it/rationalizing/making exc..."


I found her explanation weak and absolutely selfish, very immature. Not very motherly. While I realize that there are situations where a mother may have to leave a child, but Mirabelle's decision (to me) qualifies as abandonment. I think every child 'favors' one parent over the other at one point in time. But clearly, Rose was devastated when her mother left. I am not sure what Mirabelle could have done instead; I don't know her resources but she could have sought help somewhere. I believe, she knew her decision to leave was wrong. Otherwise she would not have kept up with Rose's life. That's my interpretation, someone else may look at it differently :)


message 37: by Lisarenee (last edited Jul 21, 2011 02:57PM) (new) - added it

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Lisarenee's answers to Questions for Chapters 4-6

1. Do you think Rose believed that Thom had changed after the shooting? Do you think that deep down she knew it would happen again?


No, I think she didn't. I think she hoped, but she was still not sure of him.

2. Why does Thom physically abuse his wife? Do you think he was abused as a child? (by his father?)

Good question. You would think so, but maybe not?

3. Why didn't Rose leave after the shooting? Do you think Thom suspected she did it?

I don't think he did. Like Rose kept saying he just figured she was with another man.

4. Do you think that Rose will decide to have a baby?

Not if she has a brain. I'd be afraid the kids would be next on his hit list.


message 38: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Don't you think that's kind of sad, that Thom didn't suspect Rose, in a way? It's like no one could have had a better reason than her to want him dead, right? So, if he didn't suspect her it's like he's saying he doesn't believe she has the guts to do it. Who knows, maybe it's the dog that saved her from his suspicions. Like, Thom might have believed she could kill him, but not her dog.


message 39: by Lisarenee (new) - added it

Lisarenee | 7659 comments What if the reason he doesn't suspect her is because he doesn't see himself as doing anything all that wrong? She should have run when they were in college and he hit her that first time. Instead she just said something like not on the face honey. Maybe he saw that as a signal that everything was okay with her. It sounded like her father was abusive too.


message 40: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments I feel kind of bad because Rose just makes me nuts. Most people can't help but get disgusted that someone would stay with an abuser. But, people do it for all kinds of reasons. My dad was abusive, but the thing is he never hit me and to my knowledge, he's never hit any of his girlfriends. Just my mom. Can't explain why she stayed- toward the end she made more money than he did. So, she didn't have to stay. And the thing about my dad is that he told my husband he would kill him if he ever hit me. Lectured him and everything about hitting women.


message 41: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Lisarenee wrote: "What if the reason he doesn't suspect her is because he doesn't see himself as doing anything all that wrong? She should have run when they were in college and he hit her that first time. Instead s..."

I don't remember what part of the book it is, so you might not be there, but eventually you see that he makes her cover up her bruises. Not just lying about it in the hospital to avoid getting arrested, but actually making her hide it from his family. So, I think he knows it's wrong on some level.


Jennifer Reeves (barefootdokusha) | 0 comments I just finished the book yesterday. Took me a few days to read it. I enjoyed this book. Now I want to read gods in Alabama. I love Southern novels (I live in Oklahoma, from Arkansas). I've seen relationships similar to this. He beat her, but then she'd attempt to beat him as well. They'd split up, but they'd get together. Wouldn't surprise me if they are still together.


1. Do you think Rose believed that Thom had changed after the shooting? Do you think that deep down she knew it would happen again?

No, she didn't believe that he changed. She knew that the same Thom was in there somewhere, just waiting to resurface again.

2. Why does Thom physically abuse his wife? Do you think he was abused as a child? (by his father?)

I could see him coming from an abusive family, even if it was verbally abusive. He never learned how to vent his temper without being abusive.

3. Why didn't Rose leave after the shooting? Do you think Thom suspected she did it?

I don't think Thom suspected it. I believe the reason she doesn't leave is she doesn't feel she is prepared enough. I lived just about the past year in a verbally abusive situation. I left once I was in the position to.

4. Do you think that Rose will decide to have a baby?

No, I didn't think that she would decide to have a baby. She understands that the hitting can shift from the wife to the child. She knows she's not in the right situation to have a baby.

I wish I was able to get the questions as they were posted! It's hard to answer some of the question when I have already finished the book. I'm going to try better with the next BOM. Spend more time at the library!


Karen  (EarthAngel2911) (karens_923) | 119 comments I just started this book today, so I'll go through the discussion questions as I get through the chapters (better late than never, I always say!).

I do have a few questions of my own, though, even though I'm only on Chap 3. I'm listening to the audiobook while I'm working, so I find myself "rewinding" when all of a sudden I'm lost in the story. I think I'm catching all of the details, but obviously I'm not since I still find myself with certain questions.

How does Rose Mae know that this gypsy woman is her mother? When did her mother leave her? Was Rose old enough when her mother left that she recognizes her now? Has it been long enough that her mother doesn't recognize her? (Sorry if these questions sound dumb; that would mean I missed something very obvious in the first chapter...)

I also checked out the actual book, thank goodness, because I feel as if I've missed pertinent information. When I get home I'm probably going to end up reading the first 3 chapters again to see what I've missed. :-(


Verena | 9 comments Hi Karen,

I think Rose followed a gut feeling, just like she was so sure that she would find a certain someone with someone else in a particular place - but she was wrong. The Mom left when she was 8 and now she's in her twenties.
I don't want to spoil the plot for you, but some things are explained later and some things, to me, don't make sense.

:) Verens


message 45: by Shay (new) - rated it 3 stars

Shay | 923 comments Karen (EarthAngel2911) wrote: "I just started this book today, so I'll go through the discussion questions as I get through the chapters (better late than never, I always say!).

I do have a few questions of my own, though, ..."


If you're only in Chapter 3, I think Verena is right. The author will make it clear in later chapters. Although, I think that the author deliberately made it a little obscure. So that Rose Mae and the reader aren't clear if it's wishful thinking or real.


Karen  (EarthAngel2911) (karens_923) | 119 comments Thank you, ladies. I was feeling very stupid. :-) I'm still in Chap 3, where she finds a message written on that Cadillac in metallic paint, and part of me feels as if so much of what she's seeing is what her minds creates for her. For instance, rose keeps saying that the gypsy told her to kill her husband, but the gypsy never actually used those words. (It's things like that that I'm noticing.)

Well, anyway, I'm still in the beginning of the story, and I'm enjoying it so far.

And I have a little story of my own. :-) I wrote to the author asking her about the tarot deck she described in Chap 2 (I'm a collector and fascinated with all the varieties of art used in different decks), and she actually wrote me back! I didn't actually think I would hear back, or I thought I would hear from an agent or some such thing, but no. She wrote me back herself, and in one day. :-D


Verena | 9 comments Karen (EarthAngel2911) wrote: "Thank you, ladies. I was feeling very stupid. :-) I'm still in Chap 3, where she finds a message written on that Cadillac in metallic paint, and part of me feels as if so much of what she's seei..."

That's so nice of her! I bet she doesn't get questions like yours very often.


Karen  (EarthAngel2911) (karens_923) | 119 comments Ok, I'm enjoying the audiobook, and am far enough where I can answer some of the questions. :-)

Chapter 1-3 Questions:

1. Just a general question. Do you read a lot of Southern Fiction? What about it appeals to you, especially if you're not from the South.


I don't actually read a lot of Southern Fiction, but what I have read/listened to (The Help and The Secret Life of Bees) are among my favorites. Not originally from the South, I find it difficult to pin-point exactly what draws me to the stories. However, I have lived in the South for 30+ years, and there's a certain comfort level for me when I listen to the audiobooks.

2. Why do you think Rose's mom appeared at the airport? Do you believe she knew Rose was in trouble?

At this point in the story I was doubtful that the gypsy actually was Rose's mom. And if that's the case, I think Rose saw what she needed to see, making the identity of that gypsy into her mom. However, if I assume that the gypsy is Rose's actual mom, their meeting in the airport would have had to be a "coincidence". (I had to put that in quotes since I don't really believe in coincidence.)

3. Why do you think Thom saved the dog?

I think he probably does care for the dog, even if he doesn't show it. (Kind of like my husband. He yells everytime our dog does something naughty on the floor, but I can hear him crooning to Rascal when he thinks no one's around.)

4. Why does Rose stay with Thom?

This is a tough one... I would say that maybe she's afraid of the unknown (you know the saying "Better the devil you know"), but Rose Mae doesn't really seem like that kind of girl, although Ro definitely does. Maybe Ro was firmly planted at that point, and to stay would be in Ro's nature. I wondered how she could have missed when shooting at Thom. If she's such a good shot, then there must have been something subconscious keeping her from hitting him.


Karen  (EarthAngel2911) (karens_923) | 119 comments Questions for Chapters 4-6

1. Do you think Rose believed that Thom had changed after the shooting? Do you think that deep down she knew it would happen again?


Maybe she thought that his close call with Death made him appreciate life and made him more sympathetic to others, namely her. I can't imagine that she really believed that it was over at that point. She's been abused her whole life; I don't think she would be able to picture life without it being with one of the culprits.

2. Why does Thom physically abuse his wife? Do you think he was abused as a child? (by his father?)

I think for Thom it's a lot of misplaced anger, and piss poor anger management. And it wouldn't surprise me if he was abused as a child. His dad seems like he could easily be that type, although from what we've read so far, there doesn't seem to be any evidence of it at this point.

3. Why didn't Rose leave after the shooting? Do you think Thom suspected she did it?

I just don't think she had a plan in place to leave, and at that point, she was predominantly Ro (who wouldn't be the type to leave). I don't think that Thom suspected that she was the shooter. He does seem to always suspect that Ro has a lover, though.

4. Do you think that Rose will decide to have a baby? No way! Not if she knows what's good for her!


Karen  (EarthAngel2911) (karens_923) | 119 comments Questions: Chapter 7-9

1. Rose thinks about her mother doing things to save money- to fund her escape from her abusive marriage. Rose wonders why she never did the same. Why do you think Rose never came up with an escape plan? Did she think Thom could change?


Again, I'm going to go with the "Ro wouldn't do that" explanation. :-) Maybe she just got "comfortable" in her life, no matter how dysfunctional it was, and doing nothing just seemed easier.... I just don't know. I don't think she really thought Thom would change; abuse is all she's had.

2. Why didn't Rose's mother take her?

That's actually a question I asked myself. As a mother myself, it can only be selfishness that would cause a mother to leave a child in a physically dangerous situation.

3. What do you make of Rose's quest to find her old boyfriend, Jim? Is this why she stayed so long? She's looking for someone to save her instead of saving herself? She needs something to run to?

That's a good point. After trying to shoot Thom and missing, I think she realized that she (Ro) just didn't have the stomach to actually kill her husband. A part of her does love him. But... if she could have someone do it for her, someone she trusts, then her problems are solved.


« previous 1
back to top