- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday (29 Mar. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857520806
- ISBN-13: 978-0857520807
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,557,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Land More Kind Than Home Hardcover – 29 Mar 2012
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"I think this could be the beginning of a long, fruitful career" (Ernest J. Gaines, author of "A Lesson Before Dying" and "The Autobiography of Jane Pittman")
"One of the most powerful novels I have ever read" (Fred Chappell, author of "I Am One of You Forever" and "Brighten the Corner Where You Are")
"Electrifying debut" (Financial Times)
"Cash's debut novel (A Land More Kind Than Home) is a chilling descent into the world of religious frenzy in small town North Carolina. The languid atmosphere seduces, and Cash's fine first effort pulls the reader into a shadowy, tormented world where wolves prowl in the guise of sheep" (Publishers' Weekly)
"Mesmerizing first novel... intensely felt and beautifully told" (The New York Times)
The winner of the CWA John Creasey Award for Best First Novel 2012 - a stunning piece of southern crime noirSee all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
I loved this book. I must however criticise the publisher's blurb (and various reviewers here). Jess doesn't witness his brother's death. He just doesn't, and to make such a clear, incorrect statement on the back of the book is silly. In fact if the blurb had stated what actually happened; Jess witnessed a scene and reacted in a way that led to his brother's death, I think even more readers would be drawn to this wonderful book... In my humble opinion...
I look forward to more from Mr Cash with eagerness.
One Sunday, in the oppressive Summer heat, the congregation of River Road Church take their religious fervour one step too far with devastating consequences. This compelling story, set in Madison County in 1986, is narrated from the perspectives of three different characters - Jess Hall, nine year old brother to Christopher "Stump" whose autism hinders any verbal communication, Clem Barefield, Sheriff of Madison County for 25 years yet still considered an outsider and finally, Adelaide Lyle, elderly spinster who leads the Sunday School yet remains wary of the Pastor, Carson Chambliss.
Chambliss is a very shady character, one of those larger than life, mesmerizing preachers who rules his ingenuous congregation with a rod of iron as well as traumatising them with snakes, poison and fire - blind faith indeed... This may be the 80s but this could be the land that time forgot. There's a great sense of place as the narrative moves from present to past and back again, evoking the seasons and landscape of this timeless setting. The author also seems very much in tune with his characters, ordinary, down to earth folk who try to get by the best they can - with perhaps one glaring exception.
If you enjoy well told stories with that languid, laconic vibe you find in the best Southern fiction, you will relish this gripping, poignant tale. Looking forward to hearing more from Madison County in Wiley Cash's future novels.
Three narrate: old ex-midwife Addie Lyle; sheriff Clem Barefield; the victim's nine year old brother Jess.
This is a novel for those unfazed if the telling takes its time. These are three clear voices, everything they describe ringing true. Inevitably when tragedy strikes, thoughts are triggered of past troubles. Addie, memories often off at a tangent but interestingly so, is reminded of the other church service death. Jabbingly the sheriff relives the loss of his son. Most movingly, Jess struggles to understand - here the loss of childhood and of innocence.
For many readers events here may haunt for a while. I read at one sitting - angered by the false prophet, saddened by the harm caused. Evil had entered the community and led it astray. What hope now for those afflicted?
Set in the oppressive heat of North Carolina, the story unfolds from the viewpoint of three people. Adelaide Lyle is a force to be reckoned with. An elderly, deeply religious matriarch, she has not attended church for ten years because she strongly disagrees with the manner of pastor Carson Chambliss's teaching methods and his dubious healing practices. Instead, she teaches Sunday school to the local children at her home. Clem Barefield is the town sheriff. He's a "regular kind of guy" and a popular figurehead in the community. There is sadness in his past which links him to the family of our third character Jess Hall. Jess is just nine years old, but he has witnessed more than any child should have to.
One Sunday, he spies through a church window at a healing service which attempts to "cure" his mute, autistic older brother Christopher. He not only doesn't comprehend what he is watching, but is scared for his brother. Worse still, he is unable to tell anyone, as he knows he shouldn't have been watching. A further such healing service ends in unimaginable horror when Christopher is smothered to death. Understandably, local feelings run high and the fall out is catastrophic.
Wiley Cash has a wonderful gift of drawing you in to his novel from the first page. His understanding of personalities is first class, no mean feat when they span several generations. I loved this book. It is a pleasure to read and a debut for Cash who has a second novel in the pipeline, also set in his beloved North Carolina. I can't wait!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the first novel that I've read by Wiley Cash and I believe it is the debut novel from him. It does read like someone exploring their writing technique, so I'd like to see... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Patricia M. Straughan
One of the worst first chapters I've ever read. A woman sits in a park telling us about some characters we've never seen and have no reason to care about. Read morePublished on 6 April 2015 by Ed James
A brilliant story but a little drawn out towards the endPublished on 13 Feb. 2015 by Marianne Ayoubi
This is amazing- one of the best books I have ever read. The writing from the young characters is spot on in tone, and following the introduction of the preacher there is an... Read morePublished on 6 Feb. 2014 by Andrew Nye
The death of the boy, Stump, a mute, in a small rural town is on the one hand poignant because it happens at a Christian healing service but also because it causes family to be... Read morePublished on 29 Jun. 2013 by Supernova42
Authentic dialogue should always be phonetically accurate, but Wiley Cash goes one further by making his prose phonetic, too. Read morePublished on 24 Feb. 2013 by HeavyMetalManitou
Loved it. Well written, felt like I was in the Deep South. Chilling story line, very believable characters, surprised its not yet a film.Published on 22 Jan. 2013 by tracy joyce