Thursday, May 6, 2010

Review: Gods in Alabama

Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Narrator:  Catherine Tabor
Format: audio  - 8 hrs; 320 pgs equivalent
Subject: small town southern life,
Setting: Chicago, small town Alabama
Genre: mystery and narrative fiction
Source: public library
Challenge: Audio Books, Support Your Local Library

A real surprise.  I can't remember who recommended this, but I'm glad I picked it up. As an audio book, this was quite enjoyable.  I did not realize that there is quite a mystery built into the story.  It's not a detective or police procedural, rather the mystery lies in unearthing the secret past life of the main character Arleen Fleet (Leenie) who left Alabama upon graduation from high school having promised God: 1. Never to lie again. 2 Never to fornicate again, and 3. Never to return to Alabama.

When an old school mate tracks her down in Chicago, Arleen realizes she must return to Alabama to face her demons.  She takes her boyfriend Burr with her and together they backtrack through the minds and reminiscences of Arleen, her Aunt Florence, and her Cousin Charlene to reconstruct what caused Leenie to leave in the first place.

There are howlingly funny scenes, poignant scenes of teenage angst, and well-written dialogue to keep the story flowing well.  The narrator, Kathryn Tabor does an excellent job with the accent and dialect of the region.  This is the third "southern" fiction I've read recently (the others being "Miss Julia" and "Cold Sassy Tree") It was also the best of the three.

1 comment:

  1. I must have read about it as the same place as you, because I recently acquired a copy. Not audio...but a "real" copy. ;-)
    Hope I enjoy it as much in print.


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