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
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.
This is Wiley Cash's first novel and a pretty good one at that. Maybe not so good as Fred Chappell or Clyde Edgerton say it is--and they should know--but pretty good. The narration is good, especially the voices and accents of Lorna Raver and Mark Bramhall. And the story is fine, though I didn't find the main evil character, Reverend Chambliss, believable and Jess is only nine years old, not a teenager (as other reviewers have noticed). Worth a listen, but only once. And this is not Cold Mountain, which I consider a good thing, despite Cold Mountain's being a bit more gripping.
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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