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Gods in Alabama: A Novelby Joshilyn Jackson
Synopses & Reviews
When Arlene Fleet heads up north for college, she promises God that she'll stop fornicating and lying, and never, ever go back to her hometown in Alabama. All she wants from Him is one miracle: make sure the body is never found.
Now, ten years later, God has broken the deal. Her hometown lands on her Chicago doorstep in the most annoying way and Burr, her African American boyfriend, insists on meeting her lily-white kith and kin. With the fickle finger of fate pointing her south-and toward her steel magnolia Aunt Florence; eccentric, half-mad Mama; and sweet-as-pecan-pie Cousin Clarice-Arlene and Burr are soon confronting the demons and the secrets she ran from. Here, in the heart of redneck country, the truth is waiting?to either destroy Arlene's life, or open her eyes to a love powerful enough to renew it.
"Cleverly disguised as a leisurely paced southern novel, this debut rockets to the end, even as the plot turns back on itself, surprising characters and readers alike. Book clubs will enjoy this saucy tale, as will fans of southern fiction with a twist." Booklist
"[A] potent mix of humor, murder, and a dysfunctional Southern family....While written for adults, this novel reminds us again that the teenage subculture is complex and powerful and that unholy acts may be committed in the name of love. Recommended." Library Journal
"A likable new talent chained to a creaky old plot." Kirkus Reviews
"Gods in Alabama has everything a first (or any) novel should possess but seldom does....It's the kind of book you hate to finish but can't wait to pass on to friends." Cleveland Plain Dealer
"While some of the plot elements...might seem familiar, Jackson ably overcomes them through sure-handed writing and a bawdy sense of humor that never loses its Southern charm." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"The plot is so ambitious and full of twists, the reader may have a hard time getting a read on where the novel's headed....Readers should be aware that this is not a light Southern yarn." Dallas Morning News
"The plot, masterfully constructed, has more twists and turns than a wiggle worm on the end of a small hook. The heroine is a strong, calculating presence and her frequent disputes with her overbearing aunt add friction to a family drama already fraught with tension." Orlando Sentinel
Now in paperback, Jackson's "stellar debut has all the elements of great Southern fiction, a plucky heroine, a gripping tale, and a mysterious dead body that needs explanation" (Adriana Trigiani, author of "Big Stone Gap").
For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now. When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene's door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene's break with her former hometown is forced to an end. At the same time, Burr, her long-time boyfriend, has raised an ultimatum: introduce him to her family or consider him gone. Arlene loves him dearly but knows her lily white (not to mention deeply racist)Southern Baptist family will not understand her relationship with an African American boyfriend. Reluctantly, Arlene bows to the pressure, and she and Burr embark on the long-avoided road trip back home. As Arlene digs through guilt and deception, her patched-together alibi begins to unravel, and she discovers how far she will go for love and a chance at redemption.
In this stunning and award-winning debut novel, Jackson tells the story of a young woman whose future is threatened by a crime from her youth. A #1 Book Sense Pick.
About the Author
Joshilyn Jackson lives with her husband and children outside of Atlanta, where she is currently at work on her next novel.
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