Saturday, February 2, 2013

Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

Arlene has a dark secret. Ten years ago she made a deal with God that if He would just help her keep it she'd never come back to Alabama again, but promises are hard to keep and the south is calling her home. Arlene and her boyfriend Burr make the long voyage to Alabama as Arlene's story unravels and her past comes back. What really happened? Is it possible that the truth can come in many different versions? Is there a chance for redemption?

You know I have a soft spot for southern literature, especially books that conjure up the thick heat of a summer day and the slow fluid movement of a small southern town. I picked Gods in Alabama for that reason, but was pleased to find the book had much more to offer. The author uses vivid and honest language to paint the story from Arlene's point of view. I will warn that Arlene can be blunt and sometimes crass.  The book is full of sexual references and seedy behavior so readers of a more timid nature may find it a little much. 

What I liked most about the book was how Joshilyn Jackson was able to craft such an unreliable narrator. It's rare in books to find that you simply aren't sure if you can trust your narrator, or even like her at times. The story is ultimately a who-dunnit wrapped up in good gossip. As you read you won't be sure who you're rooting for, but it's a good ride all the way to the end.

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