Friday, February 16, 2018

No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts

No One Is Coming to Save Us
by Stephanie Powell Watts
narrated by Janina Edwards

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2017
Publisher: Ecco
Genre: Literary, African American
Hardback: 384
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
The house he's building is done mostly.

JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina, to build his dream house and to pursue his high school sweetheart, Ava. But as he reenters his former world, where factories are in decline and the legacy of Jim Crow is still felt, he’s startled to find that the people he once knew and loved have changed just as much as he has. Ava is now married and desperate for a baby, though she can’t seem to carry one to term. Her husband, Henry, has grown distant, frustrated by the demise of the furniture industry, which has outsourced to China and stripped the area of jobs. Ava’s mother, Sylvia, caters to and meddles with the lives of those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia’s unworthy but charming husband, just won’t stop hanging around.

JJ’s return—and his plans to build a huge mansion overlooking Pinewood and woo Ava—not only unsettles their family, but stirs up the entire town. The ostentatious wealth that JJ has attained forces everyone to consider the cards they’ve been dealt, what more they want and deserve, and how they might go about getting it. Can they reorient their lives to align with their wishes rather than their current realities? Or are they all already resigned to the rhythms of the particular lives they lead?

No One Is Coming to Save Us is a revelatory debut from an insightful voice: with echoes of The Great Gatsby it is an arresting and powerful novel about an extended African American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream. In evocative prose, Stephanie Powell Watts has crafted a full and stunning portrait that combines a universally resonant story with an intimate glimpse into the hearts of one family.

My two-bits:

An African American experience with all the drama as mentioned in the description that is Gatsby-esque. Like in Gatsby the characters are unlikable. However, the story draws you in.


* Listened to audiobook version.

* part of SJP's Book Club (here)


  1. I have read the Great Gatsby and did not think the characters were unlikeable. I was drawn into the Great Gatsby by their love for each other that could not be. Is this book like that with a love story? I think I would want to read it if there was.


    1. Yes, the love story is not the frou frou kind. It is the complicated sort.

  2. Echoing the Great Gatsby? Oh, definitely yes. :)


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