Sunday, November 19, 2006
gods In Alabama-Joshilyn Jackson (Chari-Dee's take)
Since Joshilyn Jackson is here and there and everywhere this month, I thought I'd post about her here as well. Okay, not true, before she started popping up all of the world wide web, I had plans to post a review on this book for you. It just worked out that it would be at the same time she is prancing all over cyber space wearing her Ms. Popularity crown. But let me tell you, this chick deserves that crown. She is funny. Not ha ha funny, but, hold my side for me so I can wipe the tears out of my eyes, funny. Flippin' hilarious.
My dear friend, the other Dee, has already reviewed this book and there is no way my review will be near as good as hers was, so read hers last. I shudder to think about following her. Dee is also the reason I can even review this book. See that image to the left? The one that looks terrible because I had to scan it in and the book is thicker than a single sheet of paper, and much more valuable, so it looks like it does, but anyway. ISN'T THAT THE COOLEST THING EVAH??? Dee also got me Joss' book Between, Georgia and it is signed as well. SK -AH- WEEEEEEEEE! Dee is the best. Okay, I'm done bragging, I'll get on with it.
If I were to simply say this book was good, it would be a gross understatement, akin to saying Dolly Parton has larger than average boobs. And while both statements are true, if you are a person that is unfamiliar with Dolly's twins or Joss' books, the statements just don't quite cover it. Making any sense?
I utterly enjoyed this book. And if you read Dee's review you'll get a very clear picture of the book. Can we say 'Cop Out'? BUT, now that I have firmly (I hope) expressed how much I enjoyed turning the pages, I have a few gripes with the publisher. (I can hear the collective sigh of our reading audience as they think is she ever satisfied with they way a publisher does things? The answer to that as a reader is - no. The answer to that as an aspiring writer is - absolutely! You publishers are the most beautiful people to ever walk the planet and if you'll look at my work and publish me I will tell the world daily of your pretty-ness.)
Not only am I a spoiler slut, I'm also the type of person that reads everything that comes before the first word of chapter one. And since this book is so great, and every one loves it, there were a lot things to read. Like two pages (four really, counting front and back) of praise for this book. Quote after quote of people, important people, gushing about the work. They are right of course, but my complaint centers around the front cover quote:
"Fresh...Unpredictable...Satisfying...the kind of book you hate to finish but can't wait to pass on to friends." - Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Fresh? Absolutely. Satisfying? Thoroughly. The kind of book you hate to finish.....? So very true. Unpredictable? After reading this quote? Not so much. Can't wait to pass on to friends? No way Josie. I'm keeping this baby all to myself. It was the "unpredictable" that got to me though. Because whenever I hear that, I'm guaranteed to be able to predict the way of it. There are some mighty twists and turns of this plot (which she crafts so outstandingly) but I was looking for them because of that quote. Maybe I shouldn't complain though, cause I was double satisfied at the end. With Joss for her great writing, and with myself for figuring it out.
Then, when the book is all over, Joss has a few pages where she describes the book and gives some of her thoughts on it. She starts by talking about how people were asking what kind of book she was writing and that when she absolutely must come up with an answer she says, "It's Southern fiction seasoned with a dash of literary murder mystery." I can only agree with that statement to an extent. I didn't get the whole southern feel. I knew through out that Lena was from the south and that her secrets are all buried in the south, but that is about it. And I think by putting a "Southern" label on it, some people will never pick it up and know the true beauty that is Joshilyn Jackson's writing.
And for crying out loud, quit reading this review (or something I'm trying to pass as one) and GO READ THE DAMN BOOK! It is absolutely endearing!