Good Minds Suggest: Joshilyn Jackson's Favorite Fictional Southern Women

Posted by Goodreads on June 26, 2017
Joshilyn Jackson

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Author Joshilyn Jackson was born on the piece of the Panhandle known as "The Redneck Riviera" and raised in a slew of states below the Mason-Dixon Line. As a writer, she has continued to explore this same territory in books such as Gods in Alabama, A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, and Between, Georgia.

In The Almost Sisters, Jackson returns to the small-town South for this tale about family, race, and the way the past persists into the present. In the novel, Leia Birch, her outspoken heroine, tries to solve a murder mystery with roots that go all the way back to the Civil War. Standing in her way are her grandmother Birchie and Birchie's best friend, Wattie—two women in their late eighties with genteel smiles and spines of tempered steel who want to protect the secrets hidden within the Birch family tree.

Jackson is known for strong, flawed, distinctly Southern female characters. Here are some of her favorite reads that feature Southern women with spine.

The Tilted World by Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly
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"Set during Prohibition, it tells the story of the great flood when the levees broke in Mississippi. It's a historical thrill ride, but the beating heart of the book is Dixie Clay. She's a bootlegging moonshine savant whose broken heart begins to heal when she falls first for an orphaned baby boy and then for the man who brought her the child—too bad he's a federal agent."


Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
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"Charley Bordelon is a black woman who just inherited a Louisiana plantation; she doesn't need her feisty grandmother's warning that she is going to get some serious pushback if she uproots her tween daughter from California and enters the very white, very male, very wealthy world of cane farming. This is now a critically acclaimed TV show, but read the book first!"


The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry
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"If you've never been to a South Carolina beach town, you practically can here. Henry excels at sense of place, and her love for the natural world shines out of the pages. I came for the scenery but stayed to see if Bonnie and her daughter Piper could each find their purpose in life and their peace with one another. Just flat-out lovely."


Shine Shine Shine by Lydia Netzer
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"This literary love story takes place in an uptight, upscale, and decidedly Southern Virginia suburb—and also outer space. Astronaut Maxon is on a mission to colonize the moon with his robots, but it is his earthbound wife, Sunny, whose journey resonated so loudly with my own passionate, sometimes ambivalent, joy-and-terror-filled relationship with motherhood."


The Book of Polly by Kathy Hepinstall
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"Willow is the surprise product of Polly Haven's very last egg, and she comes of age under her elderly mother's tutelage, thumb, and indomitable spirit. This Texas tale is funny, smart, and perfectly written. Polly has way too much vinegar and spine for this book to ever get sugary, but oh, how its huge heart won mine over."



Want more book recommendations from authors? Check out our Good Minds Suggest series.



Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

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message 1: by Jill (new)

Jill These are all on my TBR list, except Shine Shine Shine which I read and loved as soon as it came out. Can't wait to read The Almost Sisters. Ordered my copy from Alabama Booksmith! #virtualbooktour


message 2: by Virginia (new)

Virginia Moon Women by Pamela Duncan . . . love, love, love


message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol Vorvain Hi,

My name is Carol Vorvain and I run https://writersboon.com, a free marketplace where authors find editors, designers, book marketers happy to offer their services at discounted prices. Think of it as Groupon for the writers' community. We support arts and authors and we hope that the money you''ll save will help you continue writing.

Would you be interested in promoting your books and answering a question on InBookish for the Writers Boon Blog? If so, please take a look at https://writersboon.com/inbookish.

Thank you
Carol


message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol Vorvain Hi,

My name is Carol Vorvain and I run https://writersboon.com, a free marketplace where authors find editors, designers, book marketers happy to offer their services at discounted prices. Think of it as Groupon for the writers' community. We support arts and authors and we hope that the money you''ll save will help you continue writing.

Would you be interested in promoting your books and answering a question on InBookish for the Writers Boon Blog? If so, please take a look at https://writersboon.com/inbookish.

Thank you
Carol


message 5: by K. (new)

K. Olson Jill wrote: "These are all on my TBR list, except Shine Shine Shine which I read and loved as soon as it came out. Can't wait to read The Almost Sisters. Ordered my copy from Alabama Booksmith! #virtualbooktour"

love Alabama Booksmith!


message 6: by Emily (new)

Emily Alabama Booksmith is a true gem!


message 7: by Joel (new)

Joel Kahn GONE WITH THE WIND?


message 8: by Paula (new)

Paula Rosenberg I've read Book of Polly. Enjoyed it. Quirky


message 9: by Paula (new)

Paula Rosenberg I've loved everything Josilyn Jackson has ever written. Anxiously awaiting the release of the newest. I give to my local library afterwards and they are put on the shelves.


message 10: by Addie (new)

Addie Joel wrote: "GONE WITH THE WIND?"

Agreed! I saw this list and the first thing I thought was "Where is Scarlett O'Hara?"


message 11: by Joshilyn (last edited Jul 17, 2017 06:08AM) (new)

Joshilyn Jackson Addie wrote: "Joel wrote: "GONE WITH THE WIND?"

Agreed! I saw this list and the first thing I thought was "Where is Scarlett O'Hara?""


Well I mean that's sort of like recommending Goodnight Moon for a children's book. I think it's more valuable to readers to recommend things I find truly exceptional that people might not've heard of yet… I think everyone's heard of Scarlet!


message 12: by Joshilyn (new)

Joshilyn Jackson Emily wrote: "Alabama Booksmith is a true gem!"

Confirmed!


message 13: by Joshilyn (new)

Joshilyn Jackson Paula wrote: "I've loved everything Josilyn Jackson has ever written. Anxiously awaiting the release of the newest. I give to my local library afterwards and they are put on the shelves."

Thank you!!!!


message 14: by Tina (new)

Tina Addie wrote: "Joel wrote: "GONE WITH THE WIND?"

Agreed! I saw this list and the first thing I thought was "Where is Scarlett O'Hara?""


The article is about her favorite southern female characters. Maybe Scarlett O'Hara isn't one of her favorites?


message 15: by Selena (new)

Selena Looking forward to reading your books sweetheart!


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