Allison's Reviews > A Land More Kind Than Home

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
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Aug 03, 12


I planned on liking this book. It had a great deal of promise from the get go with it's setting in a small town in Western NC, and a title taken straight out of Thomas Wolfe. Unfortunately, Wiley Cash didn't quite live up to the Wolfe legacy, and it seemed he could have, but just missed the mark.

The story of Carson Chambliss, a sinister, snake-handling preacher, and the hold he has on his congregation, is told through three different points of view. There is Adelaide Lyle, a elderly midwife who senses more than she wants to reveal, Clem Barefield, the sheriff determined to bring the pastor down, and Jess Hall, a nine-year-old boy whose mute brother dies suspiciously during a "healing".

"A Land More Kind than Home" was touted as a Southern Gothic tour-de-force, and a literary thriller, but it fell short. It wasn't an entirely badly written book, as far as prose is concerned. In fact, I'm hoping Wiley Cash gives novel writing another shot. This was a good concept, just a bit watery. The story could have been a bit darker. (Chambliss just wasn't fleshed out enough. More attention could have been spent on his malevolence under the guise of faith.) Jess was the same little boy growing up fast we've met dozens of times before, and Adelaide and the sheriff just weren't compelling characters despite the generous treatment of their respective backstories. This isn't one I'd particularly recommend.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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John nicely put. I think you nailed it.


message 2: by Bex (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bex "Good concept, but watery" is exactly right.


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