I've heard a lot about Ms. Jackson's books, and especially Back Seat Saints. I decided to give it a try and picked it up from my local library. It was a good read, one I give a B.
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.
This book started out very slowly for me. I had a hard time keeping track of when the story was taking place at times because the author seemed to be jumping around from present day to the past. The main character also referred to herself as two different people to show how she reacts and hides from others and that gave me a bit of trouble, but once I got into it, I had a much easier time. I will admit that there were times my heart was punding for the fear of what was going to happen and I felt the author did an excellent job in showing the way that abuse happens in families and can often be a cycle. I will probably check out more Ms. Jackson's books in the future.