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 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."--Jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062472984
Characteristics: 371 pages ; 24 cm


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Apr 22, 2020

Watts features characters who shift from a belief that the key to their happiness depends on others’ behaving in a particular way to not only accepting responsibility for themselves but also deeper changes in their views of happiness.

Nov 14, 2019

A memorable, wonderfully told story of an American family, coping with their everyday struggles & dreams. While reading the book I felt as if I were part of this family and invested in what was going to happen in the next pages.

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

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