Book Five: No One is Coming to Save Us, by Stephanie Powell Watts



So, I finally finished the book I posted at the beginning of the challenge- like Alison & The Golden Notebook, I may not have carved out the time if I hadn’t announced my intention to finish it to this group..!  And I am so glad that I did commit to it, and get through it, because it was really a wonderful read.  It took a little while to settle in with the multiple characters and story-lines- as they cross over and interact with each other- but once I got the hang of her writing style, I felt like I was a part of the family.

So, the theme of this book- from my perspective- is of family, belonging, and our very human need for connection, support and the feeling of being loved.  Each character hungers for something, and as they rely on each other to fulfill their needs/desires, it becomes clear that really none of them have the capacity to provide what the others need.  Add to that a community depressed by the loss of industry, resulting in low wages and a slow economy, and we wind up with a general sense of stagnation, bordering on futility.  Although this seems like a sad situation, and the characters are definitely mired in difficulty, there is an underlying sense of hope in the way that they care for, forgive and negotiate through their own and each other’s lapses in judgment and behavior.  Even as they are hurt, they forgive- sometimes quickly, other times eventually.

What I really loved was that Powell did not fall into the darkness of despair, nor did she sugar-coat the story with great emotional or moral righteousness.  Instead, she allowed her characters to struggle through and find their own pathways to a semblance of inner peace.  Sometimes we don’t get what we want, but this does not mean we cannot still love and reach out to those close to us, even if those very people have let us down.

As usual, my son has hit the nail on the head with this recommendation.  I will think about these characters for a long time to come.

5 comments on “Book Five: No One is Coming to Save Us, by Stephanie Powell Watts”

  1. I love that your son is tuned in enough to pick books for you – I don’t have a son but I can imagine it is likely a rare quality especially today. Well done, m! So glad this was an awesome summer read for you. I have heard about this book and will hope to give it proper attention someday – maybe we can swap?


    1. Hi Alison~ Just now reading some of the reviews in the first pages of the book, and it seems that this book was inspired by The Great Gatsby.. I did not know this going in! I would love to swap- let me know what books you are ready to part with, and we can make a plan 🙂 In the meantime, I think I will read through a bit again, to see if I can pick up on the Gatsby theme…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ll bet I wouldn’t have picked up on the Gatsby connection, either. If a story is moved to another context, it’s an entirely different story for me. I think that’s one reason why I resist some non-traditional productions of operas. What–Rigoletto set in Rat Pack Las Vegas?? (Actually, I kind of like this one, but it’s a colorful example.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. When an author holds the tension between hope and despair it is a celebration of resiliency. Resiliency is often born in moments of giving/receiving love. I’m glad you finished the book and shared it with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Barbara- yes, exactly. Resiliency is just the right word. And this book helped me to broaden my understanding of how resiliency is integrated with love, forgiveness, and a willing to keep taking the next step(s) in life, even when there is every reason and condition to remain stuck, and every right to be angry and resentful. Thank you for your comment- this book continues to teach me…

      Liked by 1 person

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