Southern Scribe
    our culture of storytelling


 Fiction Review   



Gods In Alabama
By Joshilyn Jackson
Warner Books, 2005
Hardcover, $19.95 (288 pages)
ISBN: 0-446-52419-0

Gods in Alabama is perfect summer faire -- breezy, funny, and most definitely a guilty pleasure. 

Lena (aka Arlene) Fleet has built a life for herself in Chicago. She's in graduate school, teaching aspiring and loyal students while working on her dissertation. She's found a wonderful, patient, good man who -- despite hating the situation -- obliges her need to remain celibate. He doesn't understand the promise Lena made to God upon leaving Possett, Alabama. Her father's death and her mother's subsequent breakdown left her at the mercy of relatives who will always feel the need to use guilt as a way of forcing Arlene to curb her worse impulses. Lena, who still aspires to be a "good southern girl," continues to call home twice a week. 

Jackson has created a page-turner filled with humor and pathos. Her characters -- Southern Baptists; African-Americans who migrated north but who practice southern mores and cook southern style; and two generations of women who love one another so blindly, they are willing to do anything to protect one another. 

Joshilyn Jackson, who lives with her husband and children in Atlanta, has published in TriQuarterly and Calyx. Her work was included in ChickLit II.


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

2005, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved