Nikki-ann's Reviews > A Land More Kind Than Home

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Mar 02, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: received-for-review

One Sunday, in the mountains of North Carolina, nine-year-old Jess Hall should have been down by the river with the other children. Instead, he and his friend Joe Bill were trying to find out what happens at the church where the windows are blocked with newspaper. To his horror, Jess watches as his mute brother is smothered during a healing service.

Local sheriff, Clem Barefield, must untangle the tragedy and violence that follows, in a case that reminds him of his own dead son.

A Land More Kind Than Home is a heartbreaking story about family, relationships and faith, cruelty and innocence. The tragic story is told through three people: Jess Hall, Adelaide Lyle and Clem Barefield, and each has their own voice. Despite the three narrators, the story is easy to follow and I think the three of them give slightly different angles to the story - that of a little boy who experiences more than one boy should, of an old woman who dislikes the way her church practices and that of the sheriff looking in on the whole situation.

The book’s tag-line is “Religion is supposed to shield children from the evil of the world...”, but instead we find Adelaide Lyle trying to shield the children from their local church, from Carson Chambliss, a pastor with unconventional and dangerous ideas. From the readers point of view, Chambliss is thoroughly unlikeable (to say the least!). He likes to think he’s got power, and to some extent he does... power over his congregation. This is one of those situations where those on the outside of the church can see that what is going on isn’t right. However, those in the church faithfully follow their pastor like lambs and without question.

I really felt for poor little Jess. Things go from bad to worse for him and he thinks he could have made a difference if he had spoke up. Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn’t, but there’s one thing he knows... Life will never be the same.

This literary thriller is perhaps an unusual read for me, in one respect. I normally steer clear of books with a religious thread, I don’t know why... I’ve just seemed to have steered clear of religion from a very young age (despite my great grandfather having been a lay preacher!).

Based on a true event, A Land More Kind Than Home is Wiley Cash’s debut novel and a thoroughly good one at that. It is a gripping read and one that draws the reader in. Recommended!
2 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read A Land More Kind Than Home.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)


Thanks so much for taking the time to review my book. Stuff like this means a lot to a debut author. Thanks again!


Nikki-ann Hi Wiley,

Thanks for taking time to comment on my review. I'm already looking forward to your next book.

Also, thanks for taking part in one of my Meet The Author interviews (via the publisher) on my blog at - It was very much appreciated!


Wiley wrote: "Nikki-Ann,

Thanks so much for taking the time to review my book. Stuff like this means a lot to a debut author. Thanks again!


back to top