About Joshilyn Jackson:
The Short Version: New York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson lives in Georgia with her husband, their two children, and way too many feckless animals. Her debut, gods in Alabama, won SIBA’s 2005 Novel of the year Award and was a #1 BookSense pick. Jackson won Georgia Author of the Year for her second novel, Between, Georgia, which also a #1 BookSense pick, making Jackson the first author in BookSense history to receive #1 status in back to back years. Her third novel, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, was a Break Out book at Target and has been shortlisted for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. All three books were chosen for the Books-A-Million Book Club.
When Arlene Fleet headed off to college in Chicago, she made three promises to God: She would never again lie, she would stop fornicating with every boy who crossed her path, and she’d never, ever go back to her tiny hometown of Possett, Alabama (the “fourth rack of Hell”). All God had to do in exchange was to make sure the body of high school quarterback Jim Beverly was never found.
Ten years later, Arlene has kept her promises, but an old school-mate has recently turned up asking questions. And now Arlene’s African American beau has given her a tough ultimatum: introduce him to her family, or he’s gone. As she prepares to confront guilt, discrimination, and a decade of deception, Arlene is about to discover just how far she will go to find redemption – and love.
gods in Alabama is a title that normally wouldn’t catch my eye. I pictured it as a love story at first, then saw maybe it had that mystery and suspense I crave when I read. A few pages in and Joshilyn had me hooked on Arlene’s character. Joshilyn Jackson had the power to real me in that fast with her fantastic storytelling. It was as if I was right there in the book with them, instead of reading through a whole other world.
How far would you run to find redemption?
Ro Grandee is the perfect Texas housewife. She’s determined to be nothing like her long-missing mother, the one who left her with only a heap of old novels and her father’s fists for company, so Ro keeps quiet and takes her husband’s punches like a lady. But Ro wasn’t always this way. Underneath her pastel skirts and hidden bruises lies Rose Mae Lolley, teenaged spitfire, Alabama heartbreaker, and a crack shot with a pistol. Rose Mae is resurrected when a gypsy’s tarot cards foretell doom for dutiful Ro: her handsome husband is going to kill her. Unless she kills him first.
Armed with only her wit, her pawpy’s ancient .45, and her dog Fat Gretel, Rose Mae hightails it out of Texas. In a journey that is by turns harrowing and exhilarating, she uncovers long buried truths about her family and herself, running from the man who will never let her go, on a mission to find the mother who did.
Taking a minor character from her bestselling gods in Alabama, Jackson has crafted a “riveting read that simply flies off the page with prose as luscious as sweet tea and as spicy as Texas chili. …” -Library Journal; BACKSEAT SAINTS will dazzle readers with a fresh and heartwrenching portrayal of the lengths a mother will go to right the wrongs she’s created, and how far a daughter will run to escape the demands of forgiveness.
Now I definitely suggest Backseat Saints as a must read after gods in Alabama. They have nothing to do with each other, but at the same time they do! Afterall Ro’s guy that got away was created in that book.
Backseat Saints kept me turning the pages, so much so that most of my free time was spent reading that book. I love when a book does that to me, when it’s so good that I cannot bear to put it down.
I love the storyline and would definitely love to see more of Ro and maybe see what sparks between her and her mother’s landlord.
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