Thursday, May 12, 2005

Have I got a great book for you!

Today I devoured gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson. In one sitting. And when I finished, I wanted to read it again. Now that's an unusual desire for me -- since there are so many wonderful books awaiting discovery I hardly reread, except for favorites like Pride & Prejudice, for example, or books I'm either teaching or studying. But gods in Alabama is a truly wonderful novel. And I am so very glad I set aside my distrust of Southern themes to pick this novel up.

You all know by now that I collect first sentences that grab me. Well, gods in Alabama has one of the best opening paragraphs that I have ever read:

There are gods in Alabama: Jack Daniel's, high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also Jesus. I left one back there myself, back in Possett. I kicked it under the kudzu and left it to the roaches.

Who could resist all the questions prompted by these two little sentences? And the lovely thing is, the rest of the novel is just as delicious a read as that yummy first paragraph.

I'll be posting more on this novel, but in the meantime: run, run, run and grab a copy of your own! It really is worth plucking down the $19.95 (which is way cheaper than most new hardcovers anyway!).

I promise you won't regret it. gods in Alabama is the ultimate reader's dream: a truly satisfying read that delights both brain and heart. The characters are compelling and richly drawn; the plotting is superb, including many unexpected plot twists; and the storytelling is top-notch -- Jackson can pull the reader along even (or perhaps even because) she has already disclosed some heavy duty secrets from the very beginning. It's a journey well-worth taking.

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