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Gods in Alabama
By Joshilyn Jackson
Read by Catherine Taber

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Gods in Alabama

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Gods in Alabama
By Joshilyn Jackson
Read by Catherine Taber
Time Warner AudioBooks, (2005)
An Unabridged Recording on 6 Cassettes or 7 CDs
ISBN: 1-59483-027-4 (Cassettes)
ISBN: 1-59483-028-2 (CDs)
Genre: Fiction

Reviewed by Angela Evans - April 20, 2005

Arlene Fleet is not your ordinary college freshman. When she left Possett, Alabama headed toward her a new life in Chicago, she made a deal with God. She promised to stop fornicating (at least until she's married), to never tell another lie, and to never return to Possett. On his part, Arlene wanted one little favor - that the body of Jim Beverly, the high-school quarterback, is never found. For years, Arlene thinks that God has acceded to the bargain, but she begins to have doubts when an old school mate from Possett turns up on her doorstep in Chicago.

Thinking that the bargain has been broken, Arlene goes back on her end, and heads back to Possett, intent upon making sure that Jim Beverly remains missing. To complicate matters, beyond that of a potential murder being uncovered, Arlene's fiancee is demanding to meet her family. The problem is with that is that Burr is African-American and her family is a very white, Southern Baptist family that still sees the mixing of the races as the ultimate evil. Reluctant as she is to have Burr meet her peculiar family, she doesn't want to lose him. So ten years after running away from Possett, she returns with Burr, to her roots and to the secrets she left behind.

Gods in Alabama is a fascinating novel by Joshilyn Jackson, and it is, I believe her first published book. This audio edition of the story is narrated by the talented Catherine Taber. A native of Georgia, Taber brings an air of southern authenticity to the reading. Gods in Alabama is a well-paced story that skillfully interweaves Arlene's past and the events surrounding Jim Beverly's demise with the present and her need to come to terms with her own past. This is a story that keeps you guessing as to how Arlene is going to manage to redeem herself, both in the eyes of man, and in the eyes of God, and about what the outcome will be if Beverly's body is uncovered. This is a story about love and forgivness, and one that is amply infused with a large dose of humor. Gods in Alabama is a delightfully enthralling story that has left me eager to read Jackson's next book.

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