Got another email from Oprah's Book Club and ended up looking at the section on Southern Gothic. These are some of the features of the southern gothic genre which I can discern from the article.
First, a glance at some Writers of the genre: William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, Carson McCullers, Eudora Welty
Characters: insane, abnormal, innocent redeemer, strangers who do not fit in and are therefore isolated, characters affected by violence, aging Southern Belles.
Setting: small southern towns, lonely plantations, after the Civil War and during a time of racial tension, violent period.
Themes: physical and figurative imprisonment, innocence, violence, broken bodies/broken souls, romance with tragedy.
You know what? These sound like the themes in the soap operas I used to watch, The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives.