Book Hungry review

16 Sep

Okay so I haven’t been blogging lately but what a great post to come back with.  I’ve always wanted to be a part of a book club and finally I am.  These women are great and I’m proud to be among them.

This month’s book was chosen by the wonderful Cynthia Reese and it isn’t something I would normally read on my own and I was very skeptical about how I would feel about it.   The chosen book was “Gods in Alabama” by Joshilyn Jackson.

Official synopsis:

Arlene Fleet, the refreshingly imperfect heroine of Jackson’s frank, appealing debut, launches her story with a list of the title’s deities: “high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also Jesus.” The first god, also a date rapist by the name of Jim Beverly, she left dead in her hometown of Possett, Ala., but the last she embraces wholeheartedly when high school graduation allows her to flee the South, the murder and her slutty reputation for a new life in Chicago. Upon leaving home, Arlene makes a bargain with God, promising to forgo sex, lies and a return home if he keeps Jim’s body hidden. After nine years in Chicago as a truth-telling celibate, an unexpected visitor from home (in search of Jim Beverly) leads her to believe that God is slipping on his end of the deal. As Arlene heads for the Deep South with her African-American boyfriend, Burr, in tow, her secrets unfold in unsurprising but satisfying flashbacks. Jackson brings levity to familiar themes with a spirited take on the clichés of redneck Southern living: the Wal-Mart culture, the subtle and overt racism and the indignant religion. The novel concludes with a final, dramatic disclosure, though the payoff isn’t the plot twist but rather Jackson’s genuine affection for the people and places of Dixie.

The blurb doesn’t do it justice in the slightest and I have to say if I just picked it up in the library it’s very likely I would just put it back.  I was very very pleased with what I read.

Have you ever read a book where you find parts of yourself in the main character?  Now I didn’t sleep my way through all the boys in my school but there was something about Arlene that really touched me.  I loved the story from start to twisty finish.

With a crazy family and a dark secret it amazed me that Arlene was able to really connect with Burr and fall in love with him.  My favorite part of the whole book was the way that Arlene saw her relationship with her aunt and then the way it truly was.

I may not do the story justice with my review but I have already checked out a copy of her other book set in the same world and will be reading that very soon.  I definitely would recommend this book

PS This is the very first time I’ve ever tried to review anything so don’t hold it against me.


5 Responses to “Book Hungry review”

  1. Patty September 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    Arlene was a special treat, right?

  2. abby mumford September 16, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    “i loved this story from start to twisty finish.” ME TOO! ME TOO!

  3. Karla Nellenbach September 16, 2010 at 1:08 pm #

    Arlene was great, wasn’t she? But for me, the show-stopper was Aunt Flo. She rocked 🙂

  4. Elizabeth September 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    I think you did a great job, Vanessa! Lena is quite the twisty person, isn’t she? Her conversational gymnastics really do make for some great reading. And I think you said it best when you said you’ve already picked up other books by the author. If that’s not an endorsement, I don’t know what is. 🙂

  5. Kelly Breakey September 16, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    There is no way you can write a wrong review. Besides I thought you said it very well.

    I saw parts of myself in Arlene too, but I was not very comfortable with putting that out there. And right at this very moment I don’t know why.

    Her paranoia spoke to me or it least it spoke to the younger version of myself to which I have fond memories, but was very glad to see her grow out of.

    I think for your maiden book review, you did pretty well.

    Welcome to the Book Club.

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