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Shortlisted for the Spread the Word : Books to Talk About 2008.
I adore the American small town dramatic novel, preferably with a murder, and this debut is one of the best in this area. The characterisation is superb, the prejudice and pettiness beautifully handled and the heroine has such a dilemma you really cannot see how she will get through. Suspenseful, addictive and truly memorable, it is a must-read if ever there was one.
Comparison: Adriana Trigiani, Rebecca Wells, Alice Hoffman.
Similar this month: None, but try Annabel Dilke or Nicky Pellegrino.
When Lena Fleet goes to college, she makes three promises to God: she will stop fornicating with every boy she meets; never tell another lie and never, ever go back to her hometown of Possett, Alabama. All she wants from God in return is that He makes sure the body is never found… But ten years later, it looks like God's going back on His deal. Lena's high school archenemy appears on her doorstep, looking for the golden haired football god who disappeared during their senior year. To make matters worse, her African Amercian boyfriend has issued her with an ultimatum – introduce him to her lily-white family or he’s gone… While she would rather burn in a fire than let him meet her steel magnolia Aunt Florence, her half-mad Mama, her sweet-as-pecan-pie cousin Clarice and the rest of her eccentric and racist family, Lena realises it is time to go home to Alabama and confront the past once and for all…
‘I couldn’t put this book down. From the first chapter, the plot leaps forward, and it doesn’t stop twisting and turning until the last page . . . It’s like watching a movie and watching the making of the movie at the same time. Funky and cool’
Melanie Sumner, author of The School of Beauty and Charm
‘Joshilyn Jackson’s stellar debut has all the elements of great southern fiction, a plucky heroine with a sense of humour, a gripping tale and a mysterious dead body that needs explanation. Arlene Fleet, with a crystal clear voice and purpose takes the reader on a wild ride of despair, hope and redemption that no reader is likely to ever forget. What a storyteller! What a new, original voice!’
Adriana Trigiani, author of Lucia, Lucia
‘This winning novel is the kind that readers crave: you can’t stop turning the pages, but you wish it would never end. If Gods in Alabama becomes a best-seller, I won’t be a bit surprised’
Christina Schwarz, author of Drowning Ruth
Publication date: 15/08/2005
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
|Publication date:||15th August 2005|
|Publisher:||Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Genres:||Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Relationship Stories,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
Joshilyn Jackson was born and grew up in the Deep South. A former actress and award-winning teacher, she is now a full-time writer. Joshilyn lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and their two children.Photograph Â© Elizabeth W. OsborneMore About Joshilyn Jackson