There was a very thin story here, padded out with too much descriptive prose.
Mark Bramhill did an exceptional job as the sheriff.
Honestly, I was very disappointed in the story after so many positive reviews.
The performance of a Land More Kind Than Home was the best I've heard. The characters came to life. Well worth it.
There's always time for reading
While I enjoyed this book, it wasn't real moving for me. The plot arc was fairly conventional, even predictable. The characters somewhat typical, with none being truly lovable. The book is read by a few readers--some good, others less so.
This was a beautiful story of flawed individuals who suffer horrendous losses. There were three narrators providing a triumvirate of perspectives. The evil preacher could have been more deeply explored; the glimpse into extreme religious practices was interesting.
I was moved by the story but was left with a heavy heart when it was over.
I bought this book because: 1) one of the narrators is Mark Bramhall, and 2) the story was touted as a Southern Novel.
Bramhall didn't disappoint. He NEVER does. The 5 stars in the review of Performance are for him. Unfortunately, his character speaks less than any of the others.
But the story - while it had its moments (more than a few outstanding, compelling moments early on, as a matter of fact) - ultimately it didn't deliver on what those opening scenes had promised.
There was too much about the boy Jess. Yes, his POV was integral to the plot, but we were forced to go down too many childhood rabbit trails with him. Or maybe it was that, combined with the fact that the narrator of his voice was my least favorite.
Finally, the ending ruined the experience for me. It seems ideally suited for a TV movie.
The book may be set in the South, but it's a long way from being a Southern Novel.
This is a debut novel but reminds me of the passion and force of novels by John Hart and Tom Franklin. We’re in a small town in North Carolina. There is a church right outside of town, in the mountains, which is very fundamentalist-in fact they use snakes in their worship service. The preacher is a very controlling and evil man. Jess Hall, and his “slow” older brother, nicknamed Stump, are playing around one day. They hear people in their mom and dad’s bedroom so they crawl up on the rain barrel to see what’s going on. They find their mother in bed, not with their father, but with the minister. Stump is caught. Stump has never been able to talk. The minister convinces his mother he should be brought to the church, and they will all put hands upon him and he will talk. Jess is very scared, and ultimately Stump is killed. The sheriff, Clem Barefield, has to try to figure out what actually happened and who is responsible. And Adelaide Lyle, the midwife and a very frank person, tries to help the Hall family. This is a very good and somewhat terrifying book with a tragic ending. Very good things can be expected from this author.
This story is a mystery, a coming of age story, and a struggle between good and evil all rolled into one. It was well paced and well written.
This story is told from multiple points of view and read by different actors. All of them are excellent. I could hardly stop listening. Each character brought their own point of view to the unfolding events. I thought the voice of the young boy was very good. This book started out a little slow but it wasn't long before I was caught up in the story.
One of the best and one of my new favorite stories.
The three narrators really brought this story to life.
Hellfire and brimstone
The encounter between the sheriff and Chamblis in the barn.
The story is told from three different point of views with three narrators. This definitely added to the story with the accents and tones.
It made me sad to think good people could be so lost as to follow someone who is not good.
Highly recommended summer read!