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309 pages, Hardcover
First published April 17, 2012
Something has spoken to me in the night...and told me I shall die. I know not where. Saying:
"[Death is] to lose the earth yo know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth."
"I'd seen people I'd known just about my whole life pick up snakes and drink poison, hold fire up to their faces just to see if it would burn them. Holy people, too...that hadn't ever acted like that a day in their lives. But Chambliss convinced them it was safe to challenge the will of God."
Clem Barefield: "Well, I got a dead boy who never said a word in his life, a mama who don’t want to say one now, a preacher who’s more interested in saving my soul than telling me the truth, and an old woman who’s too scared of him to say hardly anything at all. I know it sounds like I got a lot, but when you take a hard look at it it don’t amount to much more than jack shit, if it even amounts to that.”Adelaide Lyle, the fiery old matriarch of the church, the midwife who brought most of the members into the world, the spiritual conscience of the town, had the history of the church and town to share, when a little boy dies during a church service. She was country; she was tough; she was sweet, and nurturing.
People out in these parts can take hold of religion like it’s a drug, and they don’t want to give it up once they’ve got hold of it. It’s like it feeds them, and when they’re on it they’re likely to do anything these little backwoods churches tell them to do.