Thursday, December 07, 2006

gods in Alabama

There, on page 16 of the hardback version, is the quote that made me decide to buy this book:

“It can’t be that you’re smart, or handsome, or interesting, or successful, because you can’t be any of those things when you’re in Possett, Alabama. You will be much too busy being black. When you’re with my family, being black is such a big job, it takes up your entire definition. You don’t get to be anything else.”

gods in Alabamawritten by Joshilyn Jackson and published by Warner Books, is a beautiful book. Cleverly crafted with realistic characters and plot twists in every chapter, it is written with humour and an effortless style. It’s a murder mystery, of sorts, but it’s much more than that. It’s a subtle social commentary on “Steel Magnolias”, and it’s much better done than the original. The book will make you laugh and cry and think twice about ever having racial prejudices.

What more can I cay? I wish I’d written it. I actually dropped the book I was reading (“Everything is illuminated” by Jonathan Safran Foer, which received great reviews, but is actually a schlep to read) for this one. And I never looked back.

Plot hook into “gods in Alabama”: Before leaving Possett, Alabama, Lena made three promises to God: she will not tell another lie, she will stop fornicating and she will never return home if only the body is never found....

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