HomeBooksReview of “Boys of Alabama,” Genevieve Hudson’s Southern Gothic Summer Tale

Review of “Boys of Alabama,” Genevieve Hudson’s Southern Gothic Summer Tale

An immigrant to a small town in Alabama, Max learns more about himself than he ever expected to, with the help of some friends, in this debut summer read.

In Genevieve Hudson’s Boys of Alabama, the so-called town witch, Pan, takes an interest in a young German boy and tries to stop him from getting drawn into the Bible Belt lifestyle. But to Max, this new change of pace is too enticing. Coming from a family that puts more faith in science than in God, the way things are done down in Alabama has a certain charm. Playing football with his friends from school, getting involved in the community, going to church with the same familiar faces and the occasional hunting trip make Max feel a sense of fellowship he’s never experienced before. But only to an extent.

There is one secret that Pan knows about Max that his other friends couldn’t even begin to imagine. If he touched a brown little blade of grass, it would turn green and perk up. If he held a brown squirrel struck by a car, it would spring back to life. Through one way or another, Max gained the power to return life to that which had lost it. Pan quickly takes an interest in this power. After all of Pan’s work trying to become a psychic and learning of the occult, real magic practically stumbles to his doorstep in the hands of a quiet German boy.

Pan takes interest in Max just as much as Max takes interest in Pan. Not for magical reasons though, but out of curiosity and maybe even … love. And so, author Genevieve Hudson spins her unique Southern Gothic tale about these two boys and their shared secret in the sweltering heat of Alabama.

Boys of Alabama is one of our 2020 summer reads. View the full reading list here.

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