Reviews


Reviews for gods in Alabama


Reviews for Between, Georgia


Reviews for The Girl Who Stopped Swimming


Reviews for Backseat Saints


Reviews for A Grown Up Kind of Pretty


gods in Alabama


"gods in Alabama has everything a first (or any) novel should possess but seldom does: an engaging plot, a protagonist whose original voice has you alternately laughing out loud and misting up, and a vividly etched sense of place... What really elevates gods, though, is Joshilyn Jackson's fresh, unpredictable way with words. She writes so creatively that you slow down, because every sentence is a delight of some sort... gods in Alabama leaves readers grateful for the journey and smiling at the redemptive powers of love. Fresh...unpredictable...satisfying...the kind of book you hate to finish but can't wait to pass on to friends."
       - Cleveland Plain Dealer


"A winning blend of Steel Magnolias and Sweet Home Alabama with a whodunit twist."
          - Glamour


"This winning novel is the kind that readers crave: you can't stop turning the pages, but you wish it would never end."
          - Christina Schwarz,author of Drowning Ruth and All is Vanity


"Forget steel magnolias---meet titanium blossoms in Jackson's debut novel, a potent mix of humor, murder, and a dysfunctional Southern family."
          - Library Journal, starred review


"Hip... sassy... endearing."
       - Atlanta Journal Constitution


"Southern heroines rarely leap off the page as full of life and trouble as Arlene Fleet, the headstrong protagonist and erstwhile alter ego of young Atlanta writer Joshilyn Jackson, whose marvelous debut, gods in Alabama, is fixing to slap some sense into modern Southern fiction.....Sweet Home Alabama meets Guess Who's Coming to Dinner as Arlene stumbles toward a redemption that even Rhett and Scarlett would never have imagined. Foulmouthed and hilariously frank, gods in Alabama is just the shot of sour to counter the diabetic-coma-inducing sweetness that seems to have overtaken Southern literature lately."
         - Bookpage


"This bright, tender, eccentric novel grabbed me on page one and never let go. I'm sure Flannery O'Connor is smiling down at Joshilyn Jackson, for writing such a fine first novel of the deep south. Her phrases are so funny, true, and unexpected--a joy to read. Be prepared for a heart-wrenching ride, all the way to redemption. gods in Alabama is crazy good."
         - Luanne Rice, author of Beach Girls and Dance With Me


"Masterfully constructed... has more twists and turns than a wiggle worm at the end of a small hook... The story intertwines Arlene's present and past - drives the novel to an intense and shocking conclusion."
       - Orlando Sentinel (FL)


"Joshilyn Jackson's story of friendship, murder, love and betrayal is as rich and mysterious as Spanish moss. A knock-out first novel full of astonishing surprises."
          - Lolly Winston, author of Good Grief


"Jackson writes with a crisp voice and has a flair for language."
       - Washington Post Book World


"Sure-handed writing and a bawdy sense of humor that never loses its Southern charm... a book full of self-deprecating, blue-collar humor that conjures up the modern South."
       - Milwaukee Journal- Sentinel


"I couldn't put this book down. From the first chapter, the plot leaps forward, and it doesn't stop twisting and turning until the last page...It's like watching a movie and watching the making of the movie at the same time. Funky and cool."
         - Melanie Sumner, author of The School of Beautyand Charm


"An appealing and confident debut novel, filled with humor and unexpected twists of fate... both witty and wise about the tangled relationships among women, mothers and daughters, aunts and cousins - whether they're steel magnolias or down-home sweethearts."
       - New Orleans Times-Picayune


"Required reading."
       - New York Post


"A lively, fun, yet compelling read... Read the startling first sentence of gods in Alabama, then try to put it down."
          - Cassandra King, author of The Sunday Wife and The Same Sweet Girls


"Put some Drive-By Truckers on the stereo for this bumpy ride through the dirty South."
       - Entertainment Weekly


"A fresh voice."
       - Albany Times Union


"A compelling, darkly humorous read that kept me turning the pages."
          - Haywood Smith, author of The Red Hats Ride Again


"A compelling first novel that happens to have one of the most striking characters you'll ever encounter... Arlene's sassy, guilt-ridden voice never fails to engage or surprise."
       - New York Post


"Scores with Arlene's honest and tongue-in-cheek narration... passionate dialogue... interesting characters... a breezy, fun read... one of the best-plotted books I've read recently - a page-turner that succeeds and thrives from strong writing."
       - Florida Times-Union


"There are goddesses in Alabama, powerful and fallible, fierce and funny, memorable women whose antics sometimes shock and sometimes teach and often make us laugh. Joshilyn Jackson knows these women, knows all their scars and beauty marks, and she writes of them with honesty and grace and an abundance of love . She might just be one of them herself. As Arlene says of her Aunt Florence, "I had no way to absolve her except the truth." Get ready for it."
         - Maryanne Stahl, author of Forgive the Moon and The Opposite Shore


"Cleverly disguised as a leisurely paced Southern novel, this debut rockets to the end, even as the plot turns back on itself, surprising characters and readers alike."
       - Booklist


"Vibrant, endearingly screwed up, funny and fierce, Arlene gets you on her side... a mess on two feet, nonetheless, she's a blessing."
       - The State (SC)


"In the tradition of the finest southern storytelling, gods in Alabama is an engrossing tale about the pull and poison of family and the prickly, redemptive task of confronting one's past. Joshilyn Jackson delivers a deeply satisfying debut novel, laced with uproarious humor and fierce, tender, winning characters."
         - Mindy Friddle, author of The Garden Angel


"The writing in this sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking book is disarming and fresh; the voices are authentic; and the story has more surprising twists than a patch of kudzu."
       - Birmingham News


"A frank, appealing debut... Jackson brings levity to familiar themes with a spirited take on the clich?s of redneck Southern living: the Wal-Mart culture, the subtle and overt racism, and the indignant religion."
       - Publishers Weekly


"Joshilyn Jackson looks deeply and with compassion at her characters and their stories...as a result, her people and her South come to life in all their complexity."
          - Pam Durban,
         - Doris Betts Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of So Far Back


"Wild, salacious, and hard to put down... Reading the book is like sitting on your neighbor's porch, drinking lemonade, and listening to all the good gossip... a great new voice for Southern literature. Joshilyn Jackson's sweet, sassy, smart Southern voice is one that will resonate for those born and raised below the Mason-Dixon and Yankees alike."
       - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette


"An absolute joy to read... This debut novel is as Southern as tomato sandwiches, sweet tea, and hot, muggy summers."
       - Anniston Star (AL)


"Joshilyn Jackson tells the searing tale of a young woman who faces her demons and finds her angels. gods in Alabama is a courageous debut from a talented new voice"
          - Valerie Ann Leff, author of Better Homes and Husbands


"Jackson masterfully combines mystery, humor, dramatic irony, social conscience, and prejudice in a plot that pushes the reader to gobble up every fact and action through the startling end."
       - Decatur Daily(AL)


"Some books just suck you in from the get-go, and this is one of them... Thought-provoking."
       - Jackson Free Press(MS)


"If you think Arlene Fleet, of Joshilyn's Jackson's riveting first novel, gods in Alabama, is just another displaced belle - full of angst and longing for her roots - think again. gods in Alabama is a roller-coaster of a book that takes the reader on a wild ride, right up until the end!"
          - Rosemary Daniell, author of Fatal Flowers: On Sin, Sex and Suicide in the Deep South; Sleeping With Soldiers; and Confessions of a Female Chauvinist.


"This novel has deep shadows and sharp edges. And if you're not careful, it will break your heart."
       - Creative Loafing(GA)


Between, Georgia


"One of this decade's most commendable novels. Every now and then a remarkable writer, following in the footsteps of great authors, comes along to reenergize American fiction. So it is with Joshilyn Jackson. ...overflows with gut-wrenching sadness and laugh-out-loud humor. Jackson's novel brilliantly explores abstractions - redemption, love and grace - through the most compelling characterizations to be found in contemporary fiction. Between, Georgia is an exemplary novel by a singular writer who is in full command of the art of story telling. Don't miss it!"
          - Bookpage


"Jackson's author biography reveals her to be a "former actor," but listeners will guess that for themselves from the first few tracks of this wonderfully realized audiobook. Her brand of Southern fiction was born to be read out loud, with its quirky characters and astute observations about human nature. And Jackson herself is the one to do it; it's clear throughout the narration that she's having a raucous time as raconteur. As she spills forth the story of Nonny, a young Georgia woman caught in the tumble of a feud between her adoptive and biological families, there is palpable energy and sustained warmth."
          - Publishers Weekly Starred Review.


"She knows how to grab a reader - and not let them go."
          - USA Today


"Between, Georgia is a raucous novel, populated by wild characters, tenderly drawn. Joshilyn Jackson proves to be a wiley guide who writes with wit and warmth about the complex nature of family, while handing down a beautiful and fierce new definition of motherhood."
     - Julianna Baggott, author of the national bestseller Girl Talk and, with Steve Almond, Which Brings Me To You


"Funny, entertaining, warm-hearted... a winner."
          - Boston Globe


"[One of the] summer's hottest reads... The author's warm twang makes her novel about feuding Southern families resonate."
          - People


"Adept at the kind of farce that require characters to hide from each other in the bushes... she's also good at poignancy and at darker scenes of mayhem."
          - Washington Post Book World


"What a charming, magical book, filled with everyday marvels! Jackson's inventiveness and attention to detail are dazzling, and her characters so quirky and true.
     - Diane Thomas, author of The Year the Music Changed


"Tires are slashed, romances blossom, and buildings burn, but it's the cast of lovable characters that gives this page-turner its soul."
          - Marie Claire Magazine


"Compulsively readable... brims with humor... cleverly explores the nature of family and belonging... [It] delivers the kind of sheer reading enjoyment that keeps bookworms up way past their bedtimes."
          - Christian Science Monitor


"Quirky... a strong follow up to her debut."
          - Atlanta Journal-Constitution


"Funny, wrenching, and pitch-perfect, Joshilyn Jackson's Between, Georgia explores the ways people belong to each other and how far they'll go to keep what's theirs. I'll carry Nonny and her family-the whole tangled, fierce, devoted lot of them-around with me for a long, long time."
     - Marisa de los Santos, author of Love Walked In


"Colorful and evocative."
          - Sunday Express (UK)


"By turns heartbreaking and funny, it is a powerful story."
          - St. Petersburg Times


In her accomplished second novel, Jackson sweeps the reader away to a place where gravel crunches underfoot and the smell of corn bread wafts in the air. Between, a tiny dot on the Georgia state map, is oversized when it comes to personalities. The plot is precise and sweet, and Jackson includes the perfect ingredients: quirky characters, a picturesque setting and ample surprises. Evocative and lovingly crafted.
     - Kirkus *starred review*


"The author brings a whole new cast of riveting characters to life."
          - Birmingham Times


"Jackson is a powerful writer."
          - Daily Mail (London)


After a great debut with Gods in Alabama, Jackson's follow-up poses the same dilemma for readers: you can't wait to finish it but don't want it to end... Jackson's got a winner.
     - Library Journal


Jackson returns with a second quirky and touching novel about the South. Jackson has been compared to Fannie Flagg, and rightfully so; her characters are vivid and lovable, put in situations that are so hard to explain that it's just easier to pass the book lovingly along to a friend...A climactic ending with perfect story resolution makes this book tidy and uplifting, and even the most cynical reader will surely smile as the back cover closes.
- Booklist *starred review*


"Plenty of Southern Sass... rueful, charming... a theatrical and well-paced Southern family drama."
          - Publishers Weekly


"Tender, funny, and realistic... Jackson has captured the small town feel perfectly."
          - Pembroke Observer (Ontario)


"A humorous, touching story about belonging and what people will do to keep what's theirs."
          - Myrtle Beach Sun-News


The Girl Who Stopped Swimming


"...this novel about estranged sisters reunited by a mysterious death is a treat."
          - People Magazine


"Jackson doesn't tease in her new novel, The Girl Who Stopped Swimming. Instead, she strategically places these pivotal moments as a backdrop for her tension-filled, character-driven, Southern family drama...the writer's characteristic tongue-in-cheek narration and Southern wit bring an engaging lightness to the novel's Gothic undertones...Jackson, again, delivers a page-turner, further securing her status as a must-read author in the Southern literary scene. "
          - St. Petersburg Times (Florida)


In The Girl Who Stopped Swimming, Joshilyn Jackson tells a mysterious, mournful story, and adds to what is shaping up as her great strength as a novelist: a deep, empathetic understanding of the impoverished (in both the earthly and in spirit), and a genius for unveiling the complexities of the South. Even in a page-turner like this, where the 'who' and the 'how' compel the book and fascinate the reader, she never fails to be humane, or to turn a kind eye toward every condition."
     - Haven Kimmel Author of The Solace of Leaving Early, A Girl Named Zippy, and The Used World


"...spellbinding southern-gothic tale...."
          - Family Circle


"...a great tale. It's a southern mystery filled with troubled characters and a whodunit crime. The story builds to an exciting and violent ending, one that surprises yet seems to fit. Following the twists in the odd, sultry story is not unlike traveling a hot, dusty lane down in Florida, where colorful characters and unexpected behavior become the norm."
          - USA Today


"A ghost story, family psychodrama, and murder mystery all in one. Jackson's latest is a wild, smartly calibrated achievement. A-."
          - Entertainment Weekly


"Bottom line: The ghosts of suburban life, a breakthrough novel for the Powder Springs author. Best-selling author Joshilyn Jackson's third novel...is a buoyant and moving examination of the power of the supernatural to reveal meaningful truths behind hidden family secrets....beautifully balanced between magical and realist fiction and is closer in tone and voice to Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones" or Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe trilogy."
          - Atlanta Journal Constitution


On the heels of the successful gods in Alabama and Between, Georgia - both #1 BookSense picks - Jackson again reinvents the GRITS (Girls Raised in the South) novel. Quilt artist Laurel, her game programmer husband, David, and their 13-year-old daughter, Shelby, lead a seemingly charmed life in a serene Florida suburb. But when the ghost of a drowned girl awakens Laurel, the veneer of that life seems ready to crack beyond repair. Can Laurel trust her flamboyant, outspoken sister, Thalia, to help as old family secrets emerge with dizzying speed? With the appearance of a ghost on the first page, you'll feel compelled to race to the end, but slow down for Jackson's great descriptions - you'll be rewarded for the effort. Jackson illuminates not just the complexities of family love as a source of safety and support but also the complexities of danger and death. The life-affirming epilog provides satisfying closure; libraries will want to own all three novels.
     -Library Journal


Joshilyn Jackson has done it again. With a storyteller's easy grace, she whisks readers between bourgeois Victorianna, where dirty laundry and family drunks are secured firmly behind a Sunbonnet Sue exterior, and the unfathomable poverty of DeLop, a town of single-wides, chained pitbulls and no way out - unless you're willing to sacrifice your very soul. Nothing is quite as it seems, and Jackson's skilful unraveling of family secrets and betrayal left me breathless. You must read this book!
     - Sara Gruen, NYT Bestselling author of Water for Elephants and Riding Lessons


"Joshilyn Jackson's vivid characters and spellbinding prose - you can almost hear the drawl and smell the earthiness - weave a tale as intricate and fascinating as one of Laurel's quilts."
          - Midwest Book Review


"...bears the mark of Jackson: well-drawn characters, quirky little towns and emotionally scarred relationships webs that would make a soap opera writer proud. Jackson is thoughtful and gothic. One of Jackson's gifts is her ability to make the improbable seem not only possible, but also true. Jackson is definitely an author to watch."
          - Tampa Tribune


"A veritable southern gothic, Jackson's fluid, masterful novel builds to an exciting...finish that at last weaves together Laurel's past and her present."
          - Booklist


Do you crave a novel that will cause you to skip work or miss meals or put off sleep in order to keep reading it? In that case, you will definitely want to get hold of Joshilyn Jackson's latest. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming is lushly southern, and just darn good story-telling. Laurel is one of the best characters to come out of a modern novel in a very long time. In fact, she's one of the best characters to come from anywhere in what seems forever! Joshilyn had me from the moment the drowned girl walked into Laurel's bedroom which, by the way, was in the first sentence!
     - Homer Hickam, author of October Sky and The Far Reaches


"Jackson takes us on an action-packed ride in which seeing rarely equates with believing, and logic loses its footing....a solidly entertaining novel...."
          - Chattanooga Times Free Press


"Jackson matches effortless Southern storytelling with a keen eye for character and heart-stopping circumstances. What makes this novel shine are its revelations about the dark side of Southern society and Thalia and Laurel's finely honed relationship, which shows just how much thicker blood is than water."
          - Publishers Weekly


A People's Friend Book Club Choice: "Wonderfully written, this story will take you on an emotional journey to the very core of what is meant by 'family', 'love' and 'history', and leave you with a sense of hope in the power of those bonds and relationships to triumph over even the worst of adversity."
          - People's Friend (UK)


"The yin and yang of the sisters' sparkling verbal exchanges is one of the book's greatest strengths."
          - Charlotte Observer


"...from the first page of Jackson's recently-released novel... this author reveals herself as a force to be reckoned with. Swimming is a ghost story, a murder mystery, an examination of family dysfunction, a discussion of the third world living conditions that exist right here in the U.S., and how that form of poverty manages to touch us even in the most manicured and gated of suburban safety. It's all of this, but with none of the self-righteous lecturing that could come from such socially significant themes. Instead, Swimming almost shrugs at its own depth and focuses, instead, on its wildly vivid characters."
          - Mountain Xpress


"Few authors have the ability to completely immerse the reader in the storyline. Yet Jackson does just that...[a] captivating novel..." Top Pick, 4.5 stars
          - Romantic Times


"Joshilyn Jackson is a born storyteller. She genuinely speaks the language of the South, the secretive, the family. Jackson writes with the observant eyes of someone who has been there and seen the ugliness boiling under the carefully manicured surface. She doesn't maneuver around the truth, but deals her characters out evenly on the table like a hand of cards, mixing in mystery, sorrow and even a little hope."
          - Myrtle Beach Sun News


"Jackson's characters are rich, multi-layered and humorous...She's a rising literary star..."
          - Louisianna Gannett


"A hot read...Third time's still a charm in this Southern novel..."
          - The New Orleans Times-Picayune


"The Girl Who Stopped Swimming is full of intrigue, and Jackson has a great narrative voice. With her Southern flair for drama, witty dialogue...and well-built characters, she is a brilliant storyteller who gets better with each book."
          - The Denver Post


"...skillfully weaves convincing Southern dialect in telling conversations... Jackson is a master at keeping time, carefully suspending the reader between the past and the present. She captures the unique and difficult relationship among mother, daughter and sibling. A surprise ending offers an explosive illumination of the truth...Clues to solving this engaging mystery, like unearthed treasures, lie just beneath the surface."
          - McClatchy Wire Service (picked up by The Charlotte Observer, Tricity Herald, The Ledger-Enquirer, The News Observer, Fresnobee, The News Tribune, The Bellingham Herald, Centre Daily and more)


"Rich in the intricacies of Southern life, the story will leave the reader longing for another tale by Joshilyn Jackson."
         - The Biloxi Sun Herald


"You'll be hooked from the moment Laurel is woken from her bed by the ghost of the dead girl. And through the finely tuned plot, the voice of Ms. Jackson, with her sweet southern drawl, will tell you all of the deep dark secrets..."
          - Country Roads Magazine


"A crisis grabs readers' attention right away. The first two pages introduce ghosts and a drowned girl. Secrets are the threads that weave this fast-paced book together... The Girl Who Stopped Swimming kept me guessing and made me think."
          - The Montgomery Advertiser


Backseat Saints


“The work of Joshilyn Jackson is genius and she proves it again with BACKSEAT SAINTS . . . she uses the finely honed sense of irony and the absurd that characterize the best Southern novelists to not only give faces to a very important issue, but to do it in a most entertaining way . . . Although not reading Jackson’s earlier works would in no way diminish a reading of BACKSEAT SAINTS, it’s something I heartily recommend.”
       - Las Vegas Review Journal


"Jackson has resurrected a character from her best-selling gods in Alabama and crafted a riveting read that simply flies off the page with prose as luscious as sweet tea and spicy as Texas chili."
       - Library Journal


"Backseat Saints will pull you in and won't let you out until the last page. Raw, tangy and funny, it is an enthralling peek into the secret sorority of mistreated women. Follow the journey of one courageous, witty woman who decides, I'm not going to take this anymore. I love reading about smart, flawed and ultimately wise women, like Rose Mae."
       - Kathryn Stockett, NYT Bestselling author of The Help


"Jackson's absorbing and rewarding fourth novel spotlights Rose Mae Lolly, a minor character from her popular debut, Gods in Alabama... a smart, earnest, brave, and surprisingly hopeful young woman who yearns to make a better life for herself. Rose's salvation, when it comes, is positively breathtaking."
       - Booklist, Starred Review


"A sizzling chunk of Southern Gothic...But it's not only the nail-biting, sinuous plot that gives the book, to quote one of its characters, "a hundred different kinds of pure, naked crazy." It's the way Jackson writes, like a woman whose hair is on fire, batting at the flames with one hand while scribbling like mad with the other."
       - Atlanta Journal Constitution


"What a wonderful time I've had with Joshilyn Jackson's galley. Readers everywhere will rejoice to be back in the land of gods in Alabama. Backseat Saints is a heart-thrilling, can't-stop-reading book about the unique and unforgettable Rose Mae Lolley. I loved this novel."
       - Michael Lee West , author of Mad Girls in Love and Mermaids in the Basement


"Joshilyn Jackson catapults into her fourth novel, Backseat Saints, in typical all-out style, leaving more subtle approaches for less self-assured writers. As in her previous novels, Jackson practically dares you to stop reading from the very first sentence... [a] cleverly twisted mix of comedy, mystery, and new Southern Gothic."
       - Atlanta Magazine


"Joshilyn Jackson's sassy Texas twang details Rose Mae's unraveling as she stumbles upon a gypsy fortune-teller who appears to know just about everything about her life and who convinces her that her husband will murder her unless she kills him first. Complications ensue as Rose Mae discovers messages from her estranged mother that help her discover and resolve more mysteries about herself. Jackson escorts the listener as Rose Mae evolves into a determined, introspective gunslinger who is intent on tricking fate."
       - AudioFile


"BACKSEAT SAINTS is an unputdownable story about love, survival, and shedding the past. Rose Mae Lolly is tough, passionate, funny, and fierce, one hell of a heroine to guide us through one hell of an adventure. Any time Joshilyn Jackson is in the driver's seat, I'm along for the ride."
       - Michelle Richmond, NYT Bestselling author of The Year of Fog


"... her mental life is as wild and grotesque as Flannery O'Connor's... Whatever "Backseat Saints" is, it is never dull. And, though it deals with dark topics - among them, spousal abuse and the chasm between mothers and daughters - seldom has Southern Gothic been so rollicking or so often riotously funny."
       - Star News Online


"Jackson has a magical way with words, injecting fearless insight throughout the novel. ...It's the work of a first-rate writer."
       - Bookpage


"From the moment I began reading, I could not put this book down. Rose Mae is an enduring character with a fierce and unstoppable spirit. This is a beautifully written story about an important subject. Pass the word."
       - Brunonia Barry, NYT Bestselling Author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places


"....channels a bit of Flannery O'Connor with its sense of Southern Gothic and backdrop of old-school Catholicism. Yet it's fast-paced and darkly funny enough to throw in your tote for a beach weekend."
       - Cleveland Plain Dealer


"Powerful... you can't help being both sickened and mesmerized"
       - Washington Post


"Joshilyn Jackson dives into darker, deeper water in Backseat Saints--- with all her readers firmly in tow. As always, a riveting read."
       - Lee Smith, NYT bestselling author of On Agate Hill and The Last Girls


"Jackson's sprightly prose and charismatic characters offer readers a rollicking good time."
       - Kirkus


“This newest novel from the author of the bestselling The Girl Who Stopped Swimming is by turns dark and comedic, and provides the perfect platform for a rich discussion on fate versus will.”
       - Redbook


“Jackson wraps these frequently examined themes in quirky humor and refreshing twists. Flannery O’Connor meets Dave Barry.”
       - The Sunday Star Ledger


“Quirky characters, snappy dialogue and touches of humor combine to make Jackson's latest a compelling story about abuse, sacrifice, love and redemption.”
       - Bookreporter.com


"I love Joshilyn Jackson’s voice: funny, fierce, and—with the understanding that salvation knows no bounds—unafraid to venture into the darkest places. Ostensibly Backseat Saints is about a woman in an abusive relationship, but really it is about a mother and daughter coming to grips with their violent pasts, their mutual feelings of abandonment, and their shared vulnerability in a brutal world. Gripping, chilling, and bold—Backseat Saints proves once again that Jackson is in a class of her own."
       - Susan Rebecca White, bestselling author of Bound South and A Soft Place to Land in Creative Loafing


“Builds to a nail-biting ‘Who’s at the door?!’ climax.”
       - Minneapolis Star Tribune


“A book full of her trademark sly wit, endearingly off-kilter characters, and utterly riveting plot twists.”
       - Sacramento Bee


"For me, the arrival of a Joshilyn Jackson novel feels like the first perfect day in a favorite season and BACKSEAT SAINTS is no exception. It is enthralling, heartbreaking and surprising in equal measure. I am so very glad that I got to know the girl who was born Rose Mae Lolley -- and, better yet, that she got to know herself as well."
       - Laura Lippman, NYT bestselling author of Another Thing to Fall and Life Sentences


“Witty, moving . . . a “Hot Read.’”
       - New Orleans Times-Picayune


“Entertaining despite the chilling theme of the book . . . The main characters are fully developed, intense, and multi-faceted women.”
       - New York Journal of Books


“Jackson reels you in with the opening sentence . . . [Ro’s] ultimate resilience makes the journey worthwhile.”
       - Miami Herald


“A riveting novel by one of the South’s most promising novelists.”
       - Charlotte Observer


“Jackson spins her spellbinding magic in a riveting tale . . . a story rich with sly wit and captivating plot twists.”
       - Southern Seasons Magazine


“An ideal summer read from a great contemporary Southern storyteller.”
       - Memphis Commercial Appeal


“Another winner that teeters between laugh-out-loud funny and bittersweet tragedy.”
       - Monroe News-Star (LA)


“Though Jackson retains the same light touch, her wit, and her highly polished prose as evidenced in her prior books, here she breaks through into more serious territory with a powerful novel about violence and control.”
       - Waterbury Sunday Republican (CT)


“A gripping, poignant, and funny novel . . . made my list of books I just couldn’t put down . . . perfect for a hot, humid Southern summer afternoon . . . a heck of a ride.”
       - Burlington Times-News (NC)


“Jackson writes real, raw, and emotional stories about flawed women and the powers of faith. The strength of her characters lie in their ability to overcome obstacles, rise above difficulties and hardship and stay true to themselves. Her novels are riveting, emotional, and passionate and this one is not to be missed.
       - BookFinds.com


“Inspiring . . . A wonderfully written story and a great read . . . The book left me breathless. I actually realized I was holding my breath because I was so addicted and involved in Ro’s journey.”
       - ReaderViews.com


“Heart-wrenching . . . both poignant and riveting . . . Perfectly captured in the author’s enveloping wit and spirit, BACKSEAT SAINTS is a tale of an enduring heroine with dauntless courage and unstoppable resolve.”
       - Milwaukee Shepherd Express


A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty


"...a mesmerizing tale ...This is Jackson's most absorbing book yet, a lush, rich read with three very different but equally compelling characters at its core."
       - Booklist (Starred Review)


"Snappy dialogue with a Southern twang, spiritual uplift and undeniably likable characters."
       - Kirkus Reviews


Jackson's newest is highly immersive, evoking the suffocation of rural Mississippi and using a teen pregnancy mystery to create a compelling page-turner.
       - Publishers Weekly


VERDICT: Liza, as the unreliable narrator, is used to perfection in this warm family story that teeters between emotional highs and lows, laughter and tears. Book groups will eat this up.
       - Library Journal


"Reading A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty feels a lot like falling in love: giddy and enthralling and a little bit dangerous. It's a heart-thumping mystery, an edge-of-your-seat drama, and a fiercely sweet comedy all at once, with a fistful of crazy-brave characters who reach from up the wild pages and grip your heart. I loved this book about what it means to be a family for its big heart, its pitch-perfect dialogue and the kind of clever plot twists I've come to expect from Jackson. Book clubs take note, here's your next pick!"
       - Sara Gruen, NYT Bestselling author of Ape House and Water for Elephants


"A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty proves again that Joshilyn Jackson is one the best writers of the new generation. This spellbinding novel unfolds through the voices of three women in one family: a grandmother, a mother, a young daughter. Jackson renders each of these women with vivid tenderness, ferocity, and great humor, so that the family itself becomes the fourth vital character in the story. You will find yourself rooting for them all, to the very last page."
       - Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama and Georgia Bottoms


"Madness! Mayhem! Laughter! Tears! Emotional rollercoasters, old lies and an unmarked grave propel the Slocumb women into action. Joshilyn Jackson's signature style explodes in A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. Buckle up and enjoy!"
       - Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Very Valentine


"A clever, hilarious, wild adventure of a mystery that immediately pulls you in. You'll be desperate to know the story of the bones beneath the willow tree -- and will love every delicious layer of Joshilyn Jackson's latest."
       - Jennifer McMahon, author of Don't Breathe a Word and Promise Not To Tell