In No One Is Coming To Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts, an African American family in a small town in North Carolina is reaching for the American Dream. Life is hard and full of disappointments as it seems like a black cloud is over them. Ava is desperate for a baby yet she battles infertility and secretly reaches out to an online community for support and advise. Her husband Henry is upset about the decline in the furniture industry where he works, is cheating on Ava and feels disappointed in himself. Ava’s mother Sylvia’s life is stunted; she has never gotten over losing her son Devon and is married to Don, a man she doesn’t trust. JJ Ferguson, Ava’s old boyfriend is back in town, wealthy and living large on top of the hill. He has built a house overlooking the town and is hoping to get back together with Ava as he searches for the feeling of being home.
“We all get disappointed. ….We want what’s missing. Everybody wants what’s missing. “ Wealth, trust, fidelity, love…they all are searching for something to make them feel whole yet no one is spared of life’s challenges.
As Ava, JJ, Henry and Sylvia struggle to find happiness the occasional glimmers of light are not enough to make all their dreams come true.
“They could pretend they had the power to fix their lives. The trick was making themselves believe it. That’s what joy is, isn’t it? Belief for a little while that you have the power to mend everything?”
Stephanie Powell Watts has written an impressive debut as she skillfully weaves thoughts from the characters’ pasts with current goings ons – a true glimpse into how they physically experience the now while recalling old memories. She gives us a snapshot of reality where little is perfect and few are satisfied. It is reminiscent of the fact that life can be challenging and making the most out of it gives us the biggest reward.
“If you can’t get what you want, want something else. “
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to more from Stephanie Powell Watts.
Purchase a copy of No One Is Coming To Save Us on AMAZON HERE.
Click hear to listen to Stephanie Powell Watts’ NPR Interview HERE
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