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by Joshilyn Jackson
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I love Joshilyn Jackson. I will forever read anything and everything that she writes. This one was even better because I did the Audible version read by the author herself!! Nothin better than a story about a southern girl read by a southern girl herself! Jackson's stories seldom deal with the happiest parts of life. Her protagonists are usually a bit broken, a bit messed up. But she always pulls them up by their boot straps and one way or another brings you to a happy-ish ending. Because lets face it, life is never all the way happy and perfect. Rose Mae is one of those broken characters, but this girl is still full of fire. Raised motherless, in an abusive home, she marries herself right into another one. After so many years of abuse she is used to it. Finding the mother who abandoned her many years ago leads her to believe that this is all there is for her. But her mother and the tarot cards have a plan. They just have to murder her heavy fisted husband! What follows is an almost hilarious chain of events, hilarious if it wasn't all just so sad. In the end Rose and her mother are both set free, each in their own way, though not in the way you'd expect. ( )
I bought this book because the opening line hooked me: “It was an airport gypsy who told me that I had to kill my husband. She may have been the firt to say the words out loud, but she was only giving voice to a thing that I’d been trying not to know for a long, long timel.”
The first paragraph displayed a fresh, direct, authentic voice combined with compelling story telling craft and a willingness to tackle the most difficult emotions – the ones that bring us shame but also show is that we are alive, the ones that make us most ourselves, even if it’s a self we don’t like so much.
The rest of the book didn’t disappoint, it exceeded my expectations.
This isn’t just a sassy firecracker of a woman dealing with her abusive husband with witty lines and a smile on her face. This book crawls inside an abusive relationship and makes you live there. It makes you understand why she lives there and how she fuels the flames that burn her. This is physical and real and refuses to bow its head to politically correct clichés.
This book deals with broken people who cannot be fixed but may, perhaps be saved, even if they cannot save themselves.
It is about love and how that can get twisted up with hate and betrayal and loss and guilt.
It is a thriller that will keep you turning the pages and needing to know what happens next.
In this book, nothing is what it first seems but this is not the sleight of hand of the locked-room-murder mystery, this is about a slowly deepening perception of who these people are, what they mean to each other and what that does to them.
The thing I enjoyed most about the book is the sheer skill of the writing. Joshilyn Jackson slips back and forth along time lines and changes of perspective and variations of mood effortlessly. Her dialogue is perfect, her language is precise and unaffected. She is, literally, a joy to read.
This was the first novel of hers that I’ve read, but I now have “The Gods of Alabama” on order.
This was the perfect summer read. A tough female protagonist with a secret past, a bit of romance, and that Southern touch that Joshilyn Jackson is so well known for. Very fun!
So bad I was praying for Thom to hurry up and finish it.
I'd give this a 3.5. For the most part well-written but I did question some of the plot lines. I did enjoy Jackson's exploration of identity.
After a gypsy predicts that Rose's violent husband will kill her, Rose grabs a gun and her dog Gretel and sets out on a cross-country escape, following messages that her missing mother has left for her and unraveling family secrets.
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LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum
Joshilyn Jackson's book Backseat Saints was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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Hachette Book Group
2 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.
Editions: 0446582344, 1607882221