Book Review: Gods In Alabama

Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Publisher: Warner Books, 2005
Genre: Southern Fiction
Format: Audiobook narrated by Catherine Taber
My Rating: A
So many of my fellow book bloggers have extoled the virtues of Joshilyn Jackson‘s novels. I’ve had her name on my to-read list for several years, but I haven’t followed through – until now. Kathy at Bermuda Onion featured the author a few weeks ago and that got my attention. I decided to check my local library. The library didn’t have all of the author’s book but they did have the author’s debut novel on audio. I have to say: Best 12 hours of the month! Why didn’t I pay attention and read her earlier?!! Here’s the story:
Arleen Fleet is the star of this book. She is a true southerner who has been living in Chicago ever since she graduated from high school. Her life wasn’t all that great back in Alabama, but something happened during her last year there that was so traumatic that she vowed never to return. What happened is a though-provoking mystery until nearly three-fourths of the way through the story.
In spite of Arlene’s vow, she is pressured by her fiance, her very pushy aunt, and another event to return home after a ten year absence. (It would be a spoiler to tell you about that other event.) The novel flips back and forth (in a nice way) between Arlene’s return trip and the story of her past. It comes to a very satisfying and, for me, a surprising conclusion.
Gods In Alabama had all the things I love in a good novel: wonderful multi-dimensional characters, a nicely paced plot, and a “place” that acts as a meaningful character. Thanks to all the book bloggers who recommended I read Joshilyn Jackson. And now I will add my voice to that list. For a well-rounded enjoyable story, start with Gods In Alabama.
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11 Responses to Book Review: Gods In Alabama

  1. I liked this as well when a read it a few years ago. I liked the refresher, through your review; Thanks Margot

  2. Mary says:

    It was the first JJ book I read. Made me a fan! I need to get her latest – maybe in audio. I’ve heard it’s wonderful.

  3. Yay! I’m so glad you loved this one! I lived in Alabama when I read the book and the opening line has stuck with me all these years.

  4. kaye says:

    This sounds so good – it’s going on the list! I’ve read a couple of her books that I just couldn’t put down. Wonderful review, Margot!

  5. Thanks! I needed a good novel for an airplane book … I’ve been reading Dickens and biographies and non-fiction recently, nothing quite right for travel. This will be perfect.

  6. JoAnn says:

    I’m hoping to discover Joshilyn Jackson very soon… through audiobooks. My favorite audio so far this year is The Homecoming of Samuel Lake by Jenny Wingfield. It’s also read by Catherine Taber.

  7. Staci says:

    Margot, I absolutely loved this post and will be buying this one on audible for sure!! I read one of her books and just fell in love with her voice. Can’t wait to listen to this one!!

  8. Melissa Mc says:

    I’ve only read Backseat Saints and loved it. I have this on my shelf, though.

  9. Ti says:

    I’ve not tried this author before but everyone says she’s great.

  10. stacybuckeye says:

    I’m another holdout, but I do want to read Jackson, someday. Soon, hopefully! I have one of her books on my shelves, but now I think I might want to try this audio.

  11. Beth F says:

    Now you have to read everything by her!

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