gods in Alabama
#1 Indie Next Pick | Winner of SIBA’s 2005 Novel of the Year Award
“Joshilyn Jackson’s stellar debut has all the elements of great southern fiction, a plucky heroine with a sense of humor,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, bestselling author of Big Stone Gap and Lucia, Lucia.
When Arlene Fleet headed off to college in Chicago, she made three promises to God: She would never again lie, she would stop fornicating with every boy who crossed her path, and she’d never, ever go back to her tiny hometown of Possett, Alabama (the “fourth rack of Hell”). All God had to do in exchange was to make sure the body of high school quarterback Jim Beverly was never found.
Ten years later, Arlene has kept her promises, but an old school-mate has recently turned up asking questions. And now Arlene’s African American beau has given her a tough ultimatum: introduce him to her family, or he’s gone. As she prepares to confront guilt, discrimination, and a decade of deception, Arlene is about to discover just how far she will go to find redemption – and love.
“A compelling first novel that happens to have one of the most striking characters you’ll ever encounter… Arlene’s sassy, guilt-ridden voice never fails to engage or surprise.”
– New York Post
“gods in Alabama has everything a first (or any) novel should possess but seldom does: an engaging plot, a protagonist whose original voice has you alternately laughing out loud and misting up, and a vividly etched sense of place… What really elevates gods, though, is Joshilyn Jackson’s fresh, unpredictable way with words. She writes so creatively that you slow down, because every sentence is a delight of some sort… gods in Alabama leaves readers grateful for the journey and smiling at the redemptive powers of love. Fresh…unpredictable…satisfying…the kind of book you hate to finish but can’t wait to pass on to friends.”
– Cleveland Plain Dealer
“A winning blend of Steel Magnolias and Sweet Home Alabama with a whodunit twist.”
“Wild, salacious, and hard to put down… Reading the book is like sitting on your neighbor’s porch, drinking lemonade, and listening to all the good gossip… a great new voice for Southern literature. Joshilyn Jackson’s sweet, sassy, smart Southern voice is one that will resonate for those born and raised below the Mason-Dixon and Yankees alike.”
– Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
“This novel has deep shadows and sharp edges. And if you’re not careful, it will break your heart.”
– Creative Loafing (GA)