Howard/Simon and Schuster, Feb 12 2013, $14.99
Ambitious thirty-something Alice Ferguson felt she was on top of the world as with her gay business partner Amos, she edits a trashy tabloid and runs the Trashville Hollywood gossip website that consistently has her flying cross country. She recently met in Bel Air and soon married Dr. Burton Bannister II, the father of the child she carries.
However, her pregnancy proves difficult with health problems threatening her and her unborn. Alice gives up her stressful career and leaves Southern California for the Nashville area. There she feels like a fish on dry land living in suburban jail amidst the idle housewives. Adding to her frustration is realizing that Amos is doing a great job running Trashville without her. Retired NFL lineman Pastor Tim Jackson, his wife LaChelle and their two daughters are her only friends as Alice feels more like a squatter than a neighbor. However, Tim and LaChelle gently persuade the mocking doubter to show up One Sunday at their church.
Alice is a fascinating protagonist as she gives up the fast lane and what she believes is her identity to live as an outsider in the Deep South Bible Belt. Initially the coastal heathen makes no efforts to belong. Her long journey of redemption and forgiveness (of one’s self) make for a warm, at times amusing (especially Alice’s wry commentary) inspirational Christian tale.