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Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson (audiobook)

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Teresa's Reading Corner: Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson (audiobook)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson (audiobook)

Synopsis from 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. 

My thoughts:  Backseat Saints was my first foray into the world of audiobooks.  Well, that isn't entirely true.  When I was young, my dad sat down with his cassette recorder and a microphone and recorded our favorite bed time stories onto cassette tapes so that we could listen to them when he had to work the night shift.  Then there was the time that I borrowed a books on tape from the library a zillion years ago.  That was a BAD experience so we won't even go there.

Backseat Saints was my first experience with an audiobook that I loaded onto my ipod.  The story was read by Joshilyn Jackson herself.  I think she was a fantastic choice.  Her accent made a huge contribution to the story.  You knew exactly when you were with Rose Mae and when you were with Ro.  The inflection in Jackson's voice as she read and changed her voice for each character had such an impact.  I don't know if I would have affected as much as I was had I read the book.

The story itself tackles the extremely difficult topic of spousal abuse.  Jackson presents a complex character in Ro/Rose Mae.   Ro Grandee knew she was in a bad situation, and knew that she needed to do something about it.  She remained stuck until she comes into contact with the appropriate catalyst, the airport gypsy.  How do you make the choice when presented with the option of only one survivor, you or him?  Does a reasonable person take a chance encounter in the airport and turn it into a quest to regain their life?  Was Ro a reasonable person at that point?  There were several times that I just didn't know what to think. 

Throughout the story I felt like I was riding the emotional roller coaster right along with Ro/Rose Mae.  I was caught off guard more than once during the story and I think that was a good thing.  I hate it when a story is so predictable that I could have written it.

The intensity of the story was not entirely unexpected as I have read Jackson's work before, but that didn't make it any less thrilling.

I don't think that this story is appropriate for anyone that is easily offended.  If you liked Gods in Alabama or Between, Georgia you should definitely pick this one up.

I received my copy of Backseat Saints from Hachette Audio.

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At October 7, 2010 at 7:39 PM , Blogger Autumn said...

I loved this audiobook! The Gods in Alabama audiobook was great too.

At October 7, 2010 at 8:39 PM , Blogger Julie P said...

I bought this book for my Nook recently. Thanks for sharing, Teresa....

At October 8, 2010 at 11:02 AM , Blogger Carolyn said...

I really enjoy audio books and this sounds like a very intriguing story, sad and too true for so many women. I like what I hear about how courageous the main character Rose Mae is!
Thank you for sharing this with us!

At October 8, 2010 at 1:53 PM , Blogger Mari said...

Great review. The Manic Mommies book club discussed this book with the author - here's the link if you are interested in hearing Jackson's thoughts. It was a wonderful discussion.


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