Kathy's Reviews > A Land More Kind Than Home

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
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's review
Apr 27, 2012

really liked it
Read from April 24 to 27, 2012

This is a beautifully written and powerful debut novel by a southern author, Wiley Cash. It is a hard book to read and a hard book to put down. This heart wrenching and tragic tale is told through three first-person narratives.

The first narrator is the town healer, Adelaide Lyle, whom had witnessed and experienced the heinous and evil acts of the charismatic "preacher", Carson Chambliss in the past. Disturbed by all that she has witnessed, she has forbidden any children from being present during his "services" and provides them with Bible school lessons in her home while the parents attend.

The second narrator is nine year old third grader Jess Hall, the younger brother of thirteen year old Christopher, who was nicknamed "Stump" by a heartless tobacco agent when he was a toddler. Christopher is mute and autistic and the agent tells the father that he just "stands there, like a stump".

Jess looks out for his brother but cannot protect him from the heinous and narcissistic pastor that decides to utilize a "laying on of hands" type healing to cure Christopher. His motives are far from being pure and altruistic and Christopher dies.

The third narrator is the town sheriff, Clem Barefield. The sheriff has his own past tragedies to deal with and relive while he investigates Christopher's death.

This tragic and thought provoking novel will at times have you reading with anger, with outrage and with frustration at the impotence of the character's actions and their gullibility. It will raise your maternal and paternal hackles. This novel will make you care about the characters, and you will not be reading dispassionately.

Four stars...excellent debut novel. Well done Wiley Cash.
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Reading Progress

04/25/2012 page 82
04/25/2012 page 86
27.0% "Another unbelievably powerful debut novel and the second one this spring that I have read about fundamental evangelicals. The character of Carson Chambliss brings to mind the quote from Ghandi: "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.""

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