Whitney Pastorek
April 11, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Gods in Alabama

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Joshilyn Jackson
publisher
Warner Books
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

Put some Drive-By Truckers on the stereo for this bumpy ride through the dirty South, titled Gods in Alabama. Arlene Fleet, our spunkily wounded narrator, is hiding out above the Mason-Dixon Line with a secret past that begins like this: ”There are gods in Alabama. . . .I know. I killed one.” The deal she makes with capital-G God is better: In exchange for getting away with murder, she has vowed to stop having sex; to never lie again; and to never, ever go back to Alabama. But as life and love lead her inexorably home, one by one those promises fall, with results as twisted as kudzu. The only flaw in this ambitious debut is a tossed-off ending — like Arlene, Joshilyn Jackson is in way too big a hurry to get out of town.

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