For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now. When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene's door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene's break with her former hometown is forced to an end. At the same time, Burr, her long-time boyfriend, has raised an ultimatum: introduce him to her family or consider him gone. Arlene loves him dearly but knows her lily white (not to mention deeply racist)Southern Baptist family will not understand her relationship with an African American boyfriend.
Gods in Alabama includes characters from Jackson's book, Backseat Saints, but after listening to both books on audio now, I really don't think it matters what order the books are read in. I think I may have actually enjoyed Backseat Saints more by reading this book later. If you are interested you can also check out my review of Backseat Saints here.
Arlene has spent the last ten years of her life in Chicago as she tries to forget the events that led up to her departure of her childhood home in Possett, Alabama. She has changed her life around as she no longer will sleep with any man that walks through the door and has received a great education that will give her a stable future. Things are about to change for Arlene when her boyfriend Burr is ready to take their relationship to a new level. To make things more complicated, Arlene is caught off-guard when Rose Mae Lolly happens to show up at her door inquiring about the whereabouts of Jim Beverly, since Arlene was probably the last one to see him.
Arlene's aunt Flo has been hounding her for the last ten years to come back home to visit, but she vowed she would not step on Alabama soil again. Now that Rose Mae is on a quest to find Jim Beverly and will be heading to Alabama herself she finds that she must face her fears and go back home to where all of the secrets are kept. This will give her the opportunity to introduce her African American boyfriend to her traditional Southern family and also keep Rose Mae at bay.
I really don't want to go into too much of the story as it really is a story that should be revealed as you are reading it. The secrets are uncovered as Arlene faces her past and confides in Burr and her family. She learns how important her family really is and the lengths they will go to protect her.
This audiobook was read by Catherine Taber and I think she did a wonderful job of narrating this novel. With themes of family, love, and mistakes, this book has so much to offer. I thoroughly enjoyed it and don't hesitate in recommending this one for leisure or a book club selection.
My Rating: 4/5
Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my local library and listened to it for my own entertainment.