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Gods in Alabama

Joshilyn Jackson

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton

Published : 2005

Copyright : Joshilyn Jackson 2005

ISBN-10 : PB 0-340-89668-X
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-340-89668-6

Publisher's Write-Up

When Lena Fleet goes to college, she makes three promises to God: she will stop fornicating with every boy she meets; never tell another lie and never, ever go back to her hometown of Possett, Alabama. All she wants from God in return is that He makes sure the body is never found...

But ten years later, it looks like God's going back on His deal. Lena's high school archenemy appears on her doorstep, looking for the golden haired football god who disappeared during their senior year. To make matters worse, her African American boyfriend has issued her with an ultimatum - introduce him to her lily-white family or he’s gone...

While she would rather burn in a fire than let him meet her steel magnolia Aunt Florence, her half-mad Mama, her sweet-as-pecan-pie cousin Clarice and the rest of her eccentric and racist family, Lena realises it is time to go home to Alabama and confront the past once and for all...

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Sarah (181009) Rating (9/10)

Review by Sarah
Rating 9/10
Gods in Alabama is the story of Lena Fleet, who made a deal with God at the age of fifteen to never tell another lie, stop fornicating with every boy she met and to never return home to Possett, Alabama. All God had to do was make sure the body was never found.

But ten years later, Lena’s arch enemy Rose-Mae turns up at her apartment in Chicago asking questions about the golden-haired god who disappeared during their senior year. At the same time, her family start laying on the pressure to get her to return home for her uncles’ retirement party, and her African-American boyfriend has given her an ultimatum; introduce him to the family she left behind, or he’s gone. Although she would rather die than introduce Burr to Aunt Magnolia and the rest of her eccentric, racist family, Lena knows it’s time for her to return home and finally confront her demons.

The opening paragraph had me hooked. It raised so many questions that there was no way I was putting the book down until they had been answered. But what I really liked about it was how the story was told. It flicks between present tense talking about Lena’s current situation, and past tense where the reader is told what actually happened when she was fifteen. But just to make even more unique, the parts told in past tense aren’t given chronologically. So in a way, you have no choice but to read the whole book to actually understand what really happened. And the twist at the end was something I really wasn’t expecting.

Lena’s voice is so strong and believable throughout, that I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. The book touches upon so many different issues including racism and religion, but it’s not done heavy handidly. The rape scene in particular is written so delicately and carefully, with the language used not being overly grotesque, but you still get the image of just how much of a harrowing experience it was. Each issue adds a little more depth to the story without forcing particular views or opinions on the reader.

If you’re looking for a believable story with a murder mystery element that keeps you guessing the whole way through, then is the perfect read.
Sarah (18th October 2009)

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