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Review: Backseat Saints

June 10, 2010

Rose Mae Lolley grew up in Fruiton, Alabama – after he mother left her family, Rose was abused by her father.  Rose got out of Fruiton as soon as she could, working at diners along the way, eventually settling in Amarillo, Texas and marrying Thom Grandee, a member of a prominent local family.  Ro, as she is now called, loves Thom, but has to be careful around him, because he is abusive as well.

When Ro takes a neighbor to the airport she has a chance (or is it chance?) encounter with a gypsy who tells her that she must kill her husband before he kills her.  Ro has already re-invented herself one time and wonders if she can do it again.  She comes up with a plan that she thinks will work, but it takes her to unexpected places.

I’m a big fan of Joshilyn Jackson, and her work, and she didn’t let me down with her latest book, Backseat Saints!    This book pulled me in from the start and didn’t let go until the surprise ending.  Backseat Saints is a companion piece to Gods in Alabama, but it’s not necessary to read one book to enjoy the other.  I do recommend that you read them both, though!  (Come back tomorrow for a great giveaway.)

This book is so well written that I could totally relate to Ro, even though my life is nothing like hers.  I knew she needed to get away from her husband, but could also understand her inability to do so.  Poor Ro is torn in so many directions and my heart just ached for her.

One of the things I loved about this book was the inclusion of Ro’s mother.  She’d tried to justify what she’d done, but always knew it wasn’t right and spent a good deal of her life trying to compensate for it.  It’s a reminder of how much our lives affect other people’s.

I’ve had Backseat Saints on my mind ever since I’ve finished it.  For me, it’s ultimately about love (both the healthy and the unhealthy kind), strength and forgiveness.  It’s a book you won’t want to miss this summer!

Review copy provided by Hachette Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

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42 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2010 6:47 am

    This is on my TO READ list,, hopefully within the next week. Nice review Kathy.

  2. June 10, 2010 7:33 am

    I skimmed to your last sentence. It’s on my tbr list (I won a giveaway). I’ve liked the other books by Jackson. She’ll be at an indie bookstore near me in a few weeks so I hope to go to the signing.

  3. June 10, 2010 8:50 am

    I loved this book!!! Definitely a must-read for the summer — should have been on the EW list IMHO!

  4. June 10, 2010 10:46 am

    Ooooh, I will add it to my TBR list right this minute!

  5. June 10, 2010 10:48 am

    Nice review. I have Gods in Alabama in my TBR pile but golly, I think I will have to add this one now too!

    Did you say giveaway…? 😉

  6. Pam Keener permalink
    June 10, 2010 10:49 am

    This is a new to me author and your review makes me want to get it right now even though I bought 5 books at Borders yesterday LOL.
    Love & Hugs,

  7. June 10, 2010 12:53 pm

    I read Gods in Alabama, which I thought was OK, and I’m severely turned off by the fact that ALLLLLL of her books seem to involve some abusive relationship or murder or dark history….yada yada yada. It just seems a contrived plot.

  8. June 10, 2010 12:54 pm

    Sounds like a really good story. I was just reading the other day that there are waiting lists at most of the women’s shelters in the country.

  9. June 10, 2010 1:37 pm

    I have a few of her books and think I might add this to the list. Your review got my attention.

  10. June 10, 2010 1:56 pm

    I love the cover!

  11. June 10, 2010 2:21 pm

    I’ve had this on my TBR list since I first read about it. I am also a fan of Joshilyn Jackson. I’m really looking forward to reading it.

  12. June 10, 2010 4:00 pm

    I hope to read Gods In Alabama in the next couple of months, as I got it for my American challenge, and I am still plodding through Alabama. I shall look out for this one too. Glad to hear it is fabulous.

  13. June 10, 2010 4:15 pm

    Ah, my goal this week was to limit the number of books I added to the wish list but clearly I’m going to need to add this one!

  14. June 10, 2010 5:35 pm

    I love surprise endings! But I have to admit that this cover freaks me out for some reason.

  15. June 10, 2010 6:21 pm

    I am so glad to read your review! This book has been on my list for a while but for some reason I kept passing it by when I went to the bookstore. You’ve convinced me to go ahead and get it. Thanks, Kathy!

  16. June 10, 2010 6:53 pm

    What a great review…I hope I remember to come back tomorrow to enter into your giveaway.

  17. June 10, 2010 10:07 pm

    This is one I really hope to get to one day. It sounds so good. Thanks for your great review, Kathy.

  18. June 10, 2010 11:27 pm

    I haven’t read this author yet but have seen this book around and find the cover very interesting!

  19. June 11, 2010 12:17 am

    I hope to read this over the summer! 🙂

  20. Amused permalink
    June 11, 2010 1:10 am

    This book sounds really interesting! I think that cover is beautiful as well. I’ll have to check it out!

  21. June 11, 2010 1:52 am

    I probably would never had picked this book, but your review makes me want to, I might pick it up from the library

  22. June 11, 2010 3:55 am

    I love the fact that a good book can make us relate to people whose lives are nothing like hours.

  23. June 11, 2010 5:31 am

    I keep seeing wonderful reviews about this book. I haven’t read any of the authors others works. I’ll be adding this one to my wishlist.

  24. June 11, 2010 7:35 am

    Whoa! This one sounds so good! I wasn’t so captivated initially, but now I may just have to give it a try!

  25. June 11, 2010 8:49 am

    Maybe . . . but only if I can get past my usual reaction which is to say, “Get the heck out of that relationship NOW!”

  26. June 11, 2010 9:17 am

    Wow! This sounds like a really complex and engrossing read, and I think it would be something I’d really like. I am so glad that you liked it and that it stuck with you!! Great review, I will be looking for this one!!

  27. June 11, 2010 9:35 am

    I’m looking forward to reading this one. I’ve never read a book set in Amarillo and have a hard time imagining that. My grandparents lived there and I spent many years travelling across Texas to see them. Thanks for sharing, Kathy!

  28. June 11, 2010 9:55 am

    I’ve had this one sitting on a review pile for awhile, your review has convinced me to pick it up as soon as I get back from Hawaii. Thanks!

  29. June 11, 2010 10:12 am

    Sounds like a good read. I hope Ro manages to get away from the abusive husband.

  30. June 11, 2010 10:42 am

    With healthy and unhealthy love this sounds like a book I shouldn’t miss. Thanks for the review Kathy.

  31. June 11, 2010 1:10 pm

    It sounds like a great read. I’ve never read anything by this author but I’m going to add this book to my wish list.

  32. June 11, 2010 1:55 pm

    Oh wow! I really need to get to this.

  33. June 11, 2010 4:28 pm

    This is going on my TBR list — terrific review!

  34. June 11, 2010 5:44 pm

    This one sounds good to me!

  35. June 11, 2010 8:18 pm

    A companion to Gods in Alabama? Sweet!

  36. June 11, 2010 9:28 pm

    I read Joshilyn Jackson for the first time last year (“The Girl Who Stopped Swimming”) and thought it was pretty good. This sounds like another great story.

  37. misskallie2000 permalink
    June 11, 2010 11:31 pm

    I love books with suspense. This one sounds like a winner. Abuse is the subject of many books lately but when you read the news or listen, you see that it is escalting and more shelters are needed. If only more could escape from this horrible thing. Thanks for the great review. Have added to my wish list.

  38. June 12, 2010 12:47 am

    I can tell you really liked this one. I have this author on my must read list. Looks like I need to act on that.

  39. June 13, 2010 1:45 am

    I’m going to be searching for this title during my next visit to the bookstore–thanks!
    Love, Hannah

  40. June 14, 2010 6:42 pm

    Great review Kathy. I have Backseat Saints but didn’t realize that it would be a good idea to read Gods in Alabama first. I’ll have to do that.

  41. June 15, 2010 10:57 am

    This sounds really good, so I’m adding it to my to-read list. I think the whole thing about the gypsy sounds amusing.


  42. June 16, 2010 4:07 pm

    I LOVED gods in Alabama, bought the next two and never read them. They are definitely on my must read list, if I ever get around to the list! Glad to hear this one is excellent as well.

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