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 erxtoled the virtues of Joshilyn Jackson‘s novels. I’ve had her name of 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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