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A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
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Jun 02, 12

bookshelves: fiction-mainstream
Read in June, 2012

A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME. (2012). Wiley Cash. *****.
This is the first novel from this author, and one of the best first novels I have read for a long time. There are no literary tricks used – just a simple telling of a morality tale set in North Caroline among the members of a religious cult. The story is told from the viewpoint of several different characters in alternative chapters; each with its particular slant on events occuring in the story. Among the storytellers, there is a young boy, Jess Hall, the nine-year old son of Julie and Ben Hall, his parents, and the younger brother of 13 year-old Stump, a mute. The tale revolves around the religious practice of snake handling as a way of testing one’s faith. In this case, the minister of the congregation, Carson Chambliss, is the prime mover of his congregation, and, also, a manipulative sinner in his own right. This Old Testament-based tale contains all of the events of a biblical epoch, but set in the modern day. It can also be likened to Greek tragedy in its exposition. I hope that this first novel is a harbinger of a yet-to-be delivered series of books from a remarkable new talent. Highly recommended.
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Rebecca oh I have this on my "to read" pile too!!! We will just have to bump it up higher now!!!


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