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A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME
Wiley Cash has a way with words. He can make you see a rain storm or love with equal clarity. In A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME he has written a beautiful elegy for love and death, faith and fear, condemnation and redemption. Told in three very different voices, the tale unfolds in starts and pauses and then backtracks on to itself. Occasionally Cash loses his way and the story loses momentum. But stick with him because in the pulsing end, you will know you have found a wonderful new voice.
Couldn't Put It Down!
A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME follows the inhabitants of a small back country Appalachian community. They include an outsider Sheriff and the drunk the sheriff blames for his son's death, the drunk's son and his church obsessed wife, their two young sons - one a mute, a spellbinding preacher with a hidden past and the area's "healer" woman. Cash is point perfect in detailing the culture of Appalachia, the speech patterns of his characters and an atmosphere of foreboding.
Book groups will find a wealth of topics including family dynamics, faith and faith that becomes oppressive, guilt and how it can poison relationships, fear of the unknown, outsiders, understanding disabilities, alcoholism, infidelity, and secrets.
The author did an excellent job at conveying to the reader the emotions that people show when they’re riled up and in the spirit of the moment and how things can be over-looked when caught up in the emotion packed moment of loud music, hand clapping and rattlesnakes. A family is shattered, a town has hung its head in shame, and a lot of healing needs to take place in this small town of Marshall, North Carolina.
A Land More Kind Than Home
For a debut novel, Wiley Cash has written a book that grabs you, pulls you and doesn’t release its grip until the very unexpected end. I’ll be looking for more of this authors work and recommending this novel to my friends.
My goodness but this book was fantastic! His use of local color and dialect, his descriptions, his use of the weather to ratchet up the tension, and all this from a first time author. The town midwife, Adelaide, who sees it as her job to protect the children, the sheriff, who has plenty of tragedy in his own life, and the two young boys, Jess, who is in third grade, and his older but mute brother, Christopher. When evil comes to their small Appalachian town in the form of itinerant preacher, Chambliss, events are set in motion that will leave few unscathed. Two boys would pay for their natural curiosity in a way that is out of all proportion to their misdeed. I knew this story drew me in when I found myself wanting to grab one of the characters and tell them not to do it. I felt the tension in the pit of my stomach, like the way one feels before the big drop on a roller coaster. Yet in ends in a note of hope and a looking forward to that I would not have thought possible. Absolutely gripping!
Carmen S. (Elkins, Arkansas)
You won't be able to put it down
A gripping well told story with memorable characters that you won't be able to put down. Some of these characters will haunt you.
Sunni W. (Hilton Head Island, SC)
What's Not to Like
Although this turned out not to be the kind of book I ordinarily would read, it is an interesting read and characters are well-developed. For me, there's a lack of riveting events to hold my attention, so I wouldn't label it a "can't put it down" book but it's a good one to have along on a long plane ride, especially if you have a couple of hours layover in an airport!
Kathleen W. (New Brighton,, MN)
What goes around comes around or be careful what you wish for!
I completed A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME a few weeks ago and have thought about it extensively EVER SINCE. This novel is full of metaphors which I love. I also find the strategy of different character chapter narrators to be especially effective in this particular book considering all the parallel story lines. I was most intrigued by the subject matter, some of which concerned the place of organized religion in our lives. John Meachem, on CHARLIE ROSE recently, addressed the issue of whether religion should be in the hands of the religious. How timely an answer is A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME! This is an absolutely worthwhile read. Please highly consider it.
Brenda S. (Forest Hill, MD)
A Land More Kind Than Home
A Land More Kind Than Home is one of the best stories I have read in some time. It definitely is a "waking up with dark circles" worthy book to read!
V. W. (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
A Land More Kind Than Home
I like how the author chose to tell the story from three different voices - the young son, Jess, the sheriff of the small town; Clem, and Adelaide; a neighbor who knows everyone and pretty much everything that is going on in this town - she helps the people in this town in many ways - she is the town midwife, watches the children at the church on Sundays, and offers her home to others.
This story is a heartwrenching story about a dysfunctional town in the mountainous region of North Carolina and a young family that lives there. Having two sons of my own and also having taught 9 year olds, I wanted to just enter the story to give a big hug to console Jess, the son with so much sadness and worry upon his young shoulders.
Wiley Cash through his phenomenal use of descriptive words was able to make me feel like I knew the characters personally and provided a visual for me to imagine the setting.
I especially loved the part when Jess gets the quiet box that belonged to Stump and finds the items inside that brought peace to his brother.
I am so angry that a so-called pastor could manipulate the people in the town to believe that what they were doing was for the good. What were they thinking? Who would want to attend a church that actually covers the windows so that outsiders aren't allowed to look in. It brings back memories of that group of people in Jonestown that drank poison and lost their lives because Reverend Jim Jones told them to do so.
Wiley Cash needs to take a bow because I give him a standing ovation for his beautifully written debut novel. I highly recommend that you add this book to your list to read!
This was a very enjoyable book. It reminded me of other books I have read that involved rural, mountain people however the plot was a gripping and emotional one. The author was able to masterfully tell his story through the narration of three characters: a young boy forced to grow up too rapidly, an old woman who was wise but lacked the power to totally intervene, and the sheriff who was an outsider in the community committed to doing what is right but with his own past sorrows.
I think that this would make a very good book club book as it would spark intense discussion of a variety of themes concerning religion, family, love, and loss.