A stunning debut reminiscent of the beloved novels of John Hart and Tom Franklin, A Land More Kind Than Home is a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small western North Carolina town....
For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when your mother catches you spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is enormously protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can't help sneaking a look at something he's not supposed to - an act that will have catastrophic repercussions, shattering both his world and Jess's.
It's a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he's not prepared. While there is much about the world that still confuses him, he now knows that a new understanding can bring not only a growing danger and evil - but also the possibility of freedom and deliverance as well.
Told by three resonant and evocative characters - Jess; Adelaide Lyle, the town midwife and moral conscience; and Clem Barefield, a sheriff with his own painful past - A Land More Kind Than Home is a haunting tale of courage in the face of cruelty and the power of love to overcome the darkness that lives in us all. These are masterful portrayals, written with assurance and truth, and they show us the extraordinary promise of this remarkable first novel.
©2012 Wiley Cash (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
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!
It was way too wordy!! I found myself becoming so irritated with the continuous minutiae that filled every single chapter in this book!
It was a total waste of time!!
The author wasted my time! I felt insulted by all the fluff he added to each chapter to tell the story! It was painful to listen to!
I absolutely hated this book!
This is worth reading. But I think the book could have benefitted from some further editing. Loved the characters and most of the narration.
Addicted to books, both print and audio-.
This book received such good reviews, and I had high hopes for it. I hesitated before buying it because I have a low tolerance of southern accents (I grew up in NC). Mark Bramhall is one of my favorite narrators and I enjoyed his narration here. The other two narrators combined with the writing, however, have done me in. The writing has a great deal of detail and flashbacks that do nothing to move the story forward. At times it reads like a first draft. Lorna Raver's narration of Adelaide Lyle is mostly well done, but the detail (particularly the dream about Jesus) mixed with a tendency to over-inflect made me impatient and irritated. I found Nick Sullivan's voicing of Jess to be way over the top and far too golly-gee-whiz. He reads everything with exaggerated emotion as though he is telling a comic tall tale. I nearly ditched the book before I'd finished his first section. As it is, I'm stopping 3 hours short of the end.
The book is listed as a literary thriller, but there seems to be very little suspense. Perhaps if I were younger, I would have found it more interesting. I had the feeling that I had met all of these people before, and there was little said that was new.
Tragic story told with lyrical brilliance by Cash. My only complaint is that the narrator who portrays Jess is tortuous to listen to. Nearly made me quit listening all together. Being a southerner, it's very hard for me to listen to a faux southern accent. Especially one as bad as he (Bramhall?) uses. He sounds like the only southern voice he has heard was Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. I would have preferred he not try to do an accent at all. The writing, however, is made to present southern dialect. I'm just not sure why they didn't cast a native southerner for the role.
The other two do a decent job, the Sheriff being the better of the two.
Still worth buying. The storyline outweighs these faults.
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.
This is narrated (with correct western NC accents) by several people. I think it's one of the few times the listening experience (which I NEED) comes close to being as good or better than reading.
Yes. The 3 main characters are well crafted. Some of the others are not as well defined. For example, we don't know whether the grandfather will end up a good parent figure and tobacco farmer or not since he's still drinking pretty hard. It's fairly exciting. There are some loose ends. For example, at one point, Jess worries that Mr. Thompson will tell his mother Jess was peeking in through the church boards. THAT didn't happen. Where are the editors in these things? There is also a digression about the preacher sending the devil out of a sick woman, and the devil runs into a barn which the farmer then chooses to burn down. The POINT of the author is to show the amount of power preachers and religion can have on people (not just in NC), but this small digression should have been omitted because it brings in too many characters we meet only for that sequence and is thus confusing.
This title indicates Heaven, and the author comes across as having tons of doubts about Christianity so I don't know why he chose this title. I think he just found it handy--it's from Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again. This is a good FIRST novel. I was an English teacher so am used to 5 points off here, 5 points off there, and can be pretty critical:)
I'm in SW VA, and my dozen or so ladies in book club all are well read and found this book to be very much worth the read.
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.
I love reading and going on vacation with my family.
This is the story of two brothers growing up in small town North Carolina. Jess is the younger brother to Christopher, a mute. One day while spying, they see something they should not. Christopher is caught spying which turns out to be a catalyst that leads to his death, due to their mother buying in to the local "snake charming" preachers ways.
The death crushes Jess and his father, but the boys mother appears to not have an interest in continuing to mother her children, choosing, instead, to run off with the preacher, who happens to be evil incarnate and possibly even a psychopath. Another fine example of people being led astray when they hunger for something more out of life.
This is a tough story to take and it will not be for everybody, because a child dies for seeing something they should not.
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