November 5, 2011

Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

I just finished reading Gods in Alabama, and WOW! This book is definite closure to Jackson's book Backseat Saints.
If you haven't read Backseat Saints yet, do not pick this one up.
Gods in Alabama tells Arlene Fleet's story of her escape from Alabama to Chicago, why she did it, and the promises she made to God to get her there.  
When Arlene is forced to return to Alabama by her insistent family and her soon-to-be husband, Burr, she has to face the truths she has been running from since arriving in Chicago. 
Her life is thrown in to a spiral of shock after one conversation with her Aunt Florence. She admits her deepest secret to Burr, and discovers she may have been wrong all along.

This book was hard to put down. It was such a page turner. I would recommend it to those looking for a suspense and emotional book. 
The chapters are pretty long, which turn me off normally, but this book was so interesting that they flew by.

4.5/5 stars from me. 

To Read Spoilers, Click ahead
 When I first read Backseat Saints, Rose confronts Arlene, and by her actions, I had figured that Arlene had some awful knowledge of Jim Beverly. 
"There are Gods in Alabama"
We learn that Arlene believes she has killed Jim Beverly. She wears the burden of his death, and has never told anyone. 
Only at the end of the novel so do find out the whole story of why Arlene decided she needed to kill Jim. The rape of her cousin Clarice, and the beating she and Rose "Rose-pop" took from him. 
She decides to open up to Burr and tell him the whole story. The lawyer in him figures out that she, in fact, could not have killed Jim. She is too small to crush the skull of a man with a whiskey bottle. 
Arlene decides to have a conversation with Aunt Florence that she had been trying to avoid since arriving in Possett. Aunt Florence explain to Arlene how on the night she thought she murdered Jim, it was actually Florence who had murdered him. When Arlene didnt return home with Clarice, Florence only assumed the worse. She found Jim Beverley on the side of the road, picked him up and drove to a secluded place. She choked him to death believing that he had killed Arlene. 
Jim Beverley is buried in Florence's garden. 

I could not believe the ending when I read it. I thought the whole book was going to be about Arlene's emotional struggle with the truth of her actions, when in fact she had never killed a man. 


  1. It's funny how Gods in Alabama published before Backseat Saints. I agree that it is more enjoyable to read Backseat Saints first though.

  2. It is definitely better to read Backseat First. If you dont, the whole mystery surrounding what happened to him will already be solved for you.
    Thanks for reading :)