No One Is Coming to Save Us

No One Is Coming to Save Us

A Novel

Book - 2017 | First edition
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"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 returnand his plans to build a huge mansion overlooking Pinewood and woo Avanot only unsettles their family, but stirs up the entire town."--Jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2017
Branch Call Number: FICTION WAT
Characteristics: 371 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780062472984


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May 01, 2019

No One is Coming to Save Us is mom Sylvia’s story about her family. Many family incidents are recalled and the individual members learn the power to change is within themselves.

May 12, 2018

I think it is a disservice to the book to describe it as an african american modern day Gatsby. It is a story about the substance of a woman' life both Ava and her mother sylvia in a town in North Carolina where they industry has all closed down. It is a story about what they are allowed to want in post Jim Crow south and what they will allow themselves to want. Little happens in the traditional novel sense but the characters stay with you.

Apr 22, 2018

This would make an excellent book club selection. My favorite thing overall is the tempo. By the end of the first act I was convinced that Watts nailed the tone and pace of North Carolina. No One Is Coming To Save Us captured the real essence of life in North Carolina the way OWN's Queen Sugar does for Louisiana. The characters are layers and complex. The writing is rich. I look forward to more from this author.

Mar 18, 2018

I can't recall how I came upon No One Is Coming To Save Us; but I'll admit that the cover art is one of the factors that led me to read it. As far as the story is concerned, it was okay. I understand the Great Gatsby comparison and what's ironic is that I felt meh about that novel too. As a resident of NC that isn't very familiar with the different cities & towns within the state, I enjoyed reading about what small town- living in NC feels like from someone who has personally experienced it (I assume that the author is from a small NC town but I'm not sure). The characters were interesting too and Watts did a good job at weaving their lives together in a way that made the story engaging. However, like I said before, I wasn't blown away by the story; but I would definitely read another novel written by Stephanie Powell Watts.

Sep 12, 2017

Well written, contemplative. The story takes us into the characters desires - past and present.
Mistakes made, redemptive thoughts. Wish it had a little more oomph.

CatherineG_1 Jul 14, 2017

Ava is a successful woman who appears to have it all; a great job and a loving husband but she cannot sustain a pregnancy despite numerous attempts. Her mother, Sylvia is the female matriarch who is involved in the lives of friends and family alike. JJ, a long lost love from high school days appears on the scene and live changes for everyone.
This family and their friends are dysfunctional with a capital "D".
Great page turner!

kmscows Jun 30, 2017

This debut novel has been chosen as the first American Library Association Book Club Central read. Sarah Jessica Parker unveiled Book Club Central and the book choice at the annual conference in June. "No one Is Coming to Save Us" is billed as an African American "Great Gatsby." That got my attention. The characters are well-developed and oh so flawed.

debwalker Jun 28, 2017

Sarah Jessica Parker's first pick for Book Club Central - a new online platform of reading resources and recommendations at

Jun 03, 2017

Set in North Carolina, this book is very loosely based on The Great Gatsby. JJ returns to Pinewood, building himself a giant house that looks out over the town. Ava dated JJ in high school, but is now married to Henry. She is desperate to have a baby, but has suffered numerous miscarriages. The book's main focus is on Sylvia, Ava's mother, who seems to lack any sort of self-awareness. The book gives a snapshot of a dying town, but that makes the book seem overcrowded with whole chapters devoted to characters that have no reason to even be in the book.


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