Profanity: Yes... lots
Graphic content (sex, murder,etc.): Yes... sex, rape, and murder
This was July's Book Club pick. (I really need to start reading more than 1 book a month if I'm going to reach my 101 in 1001 goal!!) I wasn't sure what to expect, but the teaser on the back cover had me a little worried:
There are gods in Alabama: Jack Daniel's, high school quarterbacks, trucks, big tits, and also Jesus. I left one back there myself...
I was hoping there'd be more "Jesus" than "big tits," and although that wasn't necessarily the case, I did actually enjoy the book. I will say that there was a whole lot of profanity (which I'm not a big fan of in case you couldn't tell), and a few pretty raunchy parts that made my eyes bulge and mouth say, "Well okay then..." Here's the summary printed on my copy:
When Arlene Fleet heads up north for college, she promises God that she'll stop fornicating and lying, and never, ever go back to her hometown in Alabama. All she wants from Him is one miracle: make sure the body is never found. Now, ten years later, God breaks the deal when a dark secret from her past lands on her Chicago doorstep. With the fickle finger of fate pointing her south, Arlene must return to the heart of redneck country, where a powerful truth can destroy her life... or save it.
Although the book had a few slow moments, the deeper I got into the story, the harder it was to put down... which is always a good thing. There were a few twists and turns too, particularly towards the end, so it kept me on my toes. And though a few of the characters were a little extreme at times, they were all believable.
Jackson touches some pretty heavy subjects in this novel, but she was also able to bring out many chuckles along the way. However, I think it was because as an Alabama girl myself, I was familiar with the customs and setting of the story. So if you've never been here, you may not enjoy the book as much...
Ultimately, I think gods in Alabama focused more on the power of family than the power of God (although who says they don't go hand-in-hand??). And although I would definitely caution first due to the language and graphic content, I would recommend this to read.
For August's Book Club, we are reading The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. But I'm going to try and squeeze in Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen first. That's 700 pages in 30 days... or about 24 pages a day. I can totally do that! (Wish me luck...)