Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Hungry: God Is In Alabama

The book review below was a Book Hungry Club read.  All of the Book Hungry Members are posting a book review today on their blogs.  They are all listed in my blog roll to the right, so after you read mine, go check them out too! 

This months selection Gods In Alabama, by Joshilyn Jackson comes to us from the Fabulous Cynthia Reese.

I should tell you this is anther book recommendation that I would never have picked up and read on my own. 

The title Gods In Alabama had me wondering if God resided in Alabama or if our author was saying there are Gods in Alabama.  Either way works here from Arlene's point of view, but mainly it just meant that their are Gods residing in Alabama and they just happen to play high school football.

This book takes us on the journey of Arlene Fleet who escaped her small town roots and traded them in for the vastness of the windy city.  Her motives, totally not-altruistic, were based on the deal she made with God.  No more sex, lies or even returning to the scene of the crime as long as He keeps the body hidden.  

The body in question belonged to one Jim Beverly, the local reining God of the football field.  The reveal comes to us in a series of flashbacks and present day story telling, a format I have not been over found of in past books but keeps this story moving extremely well without confusing the reader. 

After ten years of excuses, when a visitor from home (looking for Jim Beverly) leaves Arlene believing God may be slipping on his end of the bargain, she decides to head back to the tiny town in Alabama she called home.  Coming along for the ride is her boyfriend Burr who also happens to be African American.

This book had all the earmarks of embracing every stereotype, instead it made fun of them.  Ms. Jackson's characters jumped off the page at me and I was there with them from start to finish.   Ms. Jackson's ability to write characters that resonate comes through from the first page and kept me entertained until the very end.

Once again, I step out of my reading comfort zone and the result is another satisfying read.  Thanks Cynthia for the recommendation and don't forget to check out the other members thoughts on this book at their blogs as well.


Karla Nellenbach said...

Well said! I too, stepped out of my reading zone for this and am very glad I did :)

Linda G. said...

It's good to step out of that comfort zone from time to time. I need to remind myself to do it more often.

Patty Blount said...

Yes, agreed! It wasn't a book I think I would have picked up without recommendations from our Cynthia. But very glad I read it because for me, there were many lessons I hope to apply to my own writing

Candyland said...

Sometimes the best books are the ones we'd normally never read.

abby mumford said...

i totally agree. when it's a book you're not suspecting you'll like, your expectations are lower and so it's a lot easier to be pleasantly surprised.

and this book definitely pleasantly surprised me. i am adding jackson's other books to my TBR list.

Elizabeth Ryann said...

Haha, I agree too! This is not a book I would've chosen on my own, and it certainly had elements that I've found irritating in the past (like flashbacks), but I was quite impressed with how this was handled. Lovely review, Kelly!

Laura Pauling said...

Sounds like a great book. I love finding books and then loving them!

Alyson Peterson said...

Now I am drooling to read it! Blast it!