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Gods in Alabama

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  17,104 Ratings  ·  1,781 Reviews
A crime from her youth threatens a young woman's future in this extraordinary debut novel that follows in the bestselling Southern tradition of Big Stone Gap. When Arlene Fleet headed off to college in Chicago, she made three promises to God: she would never again lie, never fornicate outside of marriage, and never, ever go back to her tiny hometown of Possett, Alabama (th ...more
Paperback, 275 pages
Published August 15th 2006 (first published April 13th 2005)
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Had me at the first line.
"There are gods in Alabama: Jack Daniel's, high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also Jesus."
Now I tell you my eyebrows shot up thinking now this is gonna be a bumpy ride straight into the modern dirty south.....oh yeah!
blended with vibrant humor, a whodunit and unexpected twists of fate. I really laughed out loud with delight at Jackson's witty flare for language and natural fresh dialoge, she has a serious tallent that well have me collecting all her other
I enjoyed this for the humorous dialog and quirky drama while I was reading it, but a week later very little lingers. The themes about growing up are universal, but the solutions are atypical and seem contrived. Still, the lead character has an engaging voice. Her satirical outlook effectively undercuts all manner of hypocrisy and lingering racism and classism in the deep South while applying a certain level of forgiveness for it, as so much of the intolerance derives from ignorance.

Arlene is a
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After being introduced to Arlene Fleet in Backseat Saints, I was a bit disappointed when the story veered away from her and continued on since I was very intrigued by Arlene and what secrets I knew she had hidden. I was very excited when I found out that Gods in Alabama was about her.

I’m a little at a loss for words in how to describe this book. Joshilyn Jackson is such a wonderful storyteller. Her books evoke such strong emotions from me and I love getting lost in the rich tapestries she weave
May 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
I don't often write reviews, but I wanted to take a moment to recommend this book to anybody who comes across it on my feed. I am totally enamored with Joshilyn Jackson. Despite my deep South upbringing, I often shy away from novels labeled "Southern fiction." I find them to be cloying and built on stereotypes that did not ring true to my experience as a southerner. Jackson's novels bring a breath of fresh air to the genre. She writes fabulous fiction that happens to take place in the South. god ...more
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
An excellent southern fiction story. I enjoyed this so much and the writing was awesome. A great ride through back roads and family history. I am definitely going to be on the look out for more of Jackson's books.
From the thoughts of Arlene Fleet: "There are Gods in Alabama. I killed one of them." Kudzu covers a multitude of sins. And so it does in Joshilyn Jackson's first published novel. Or, maybe we only think it does. For those about to read "Backseat Saints," Ms. Jackson's latest, read this. Both novels stand alone perfectly well. However, reading them together just emphasizes what a talented writer Jackson is. This is contemporary southern literature at its best. The color is local. The themes are ...more
Jul 03, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chick lit with southern literary intentions.
Feb 16, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: somebody stuck on an airplane
Goodness, I don't remember the last time I read a book about a family from the southern US that didn't involve some unhappy young woman with (a) a drunken-wife beating father or (b) a teenage rape. This is yet another. Just to be thorough, the author even threw in the requisite family of eccentrics. In two weeks, I won't remember a thing about it.
Diane Barnes
May 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why it has taken me so long to get around to reading one of Joshilyn Jackson's books, despite the fact that she has been highly recommended by people whose reading tastes I respect. Whatever the reason, I'm glad I finally picked this one up. She has a wicked sense of humor and a fine story to tell. The characters are believable, the plot was just convoluted enough to keep me reading without being frustrated, and the dialogue was very real. And boy, does she ever get southerners righ ...more
May 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Anne Tyler
Shelves: actuallyread
There is something really beautiful about an author who is in control of their craft -- It's hard enough to plot a successful story that is intriguing, but to be able to manipulate the chronology of a story and make the story even better? (This is one of the reasons I enjoyed Time Traveller's Wife so much) This is a great book that will teach men something about relating to women and teach women something about relating to themselves. Good stuff - it's a fast read, with fabulous strong characte ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Gods in Alabama 3 19 Jan 19, 2012 06:47PM  
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Jackson's latest novel, THE ALMOST SISTERS, is out now!

New York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of gods in Alabama, Between, Georgia, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Backseat Saints, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, Someone Else's Love Story, and The Opposite of Everyone. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the year, twice been a #1 Book Se
More about Joshilyn Jackson...
“God gave us crying so other folks could see when we needed help, and help us.” 115 likes
“There are gods in Alabama: Jack Daniel's, high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also Jesus.” 108 likes
More quotes…