A Land More Kind Than Home

  • by Wiley Cash
  • Narrated by Nick Sullivan, Lorna Raver, Mark Bramhall
  • 8 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A stunning debut reminiscent of the beloved novels of John Hart and Tom Franklin, A Land More Kind Than Home is a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small western North Carolina town....
For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when your mother catches you spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is enormously protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can't help sneaking a look at something he's not supposed to - an act that will have catastrophic repercussions, shattering both his world and Jess's.
It's a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he's not prepared. While there is much about the world that still confuses him, he now knows that a new understanding can bring not only a growing danger and evil - but also the possibility of freedom and deliverance as well.
Told by three resonant and evocative characters - Jess; Adelaide Lyle, the town midwife and moral conscience; and Clem Barefield, a sheriff with his own painful past - A Land More Kind Than Home is a haunting tale of courage in the face of cruelty and the power of love to overcome the darkness that lives in us all. These are masterful portrayals, written with assurance and truth, and they show us the extraordinary promise of this remarkable first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Sad Recollections of a Woeful Tale

Adelaide, the wise old town mid-wife, is the introductory voice of this atmospheric story, so smoothly performed by Lorna Raver that you want to tip a bucket over on the front porch and take a seat at Adelaide's feet while she gently rocks back and forth and envelops you into this somber and cautionary tale. From the day she witnesses a church service that ends with her friend being bitten twice by a copperhead snake -- she knows that there is an evil in Preacher Chambliss. This evil, hiding behind a mask of religion, and using *faith* as its weapon, brings a mournful piece of history colliding into the present time with tragic consequences. The story passes the narrative between Adelaide, innocent 9 yr. old Jess, and Sheriff Barefield -- each voicing the story from their point of involvement. The voice of Jess didn't work for me, seemed a bit contrived or miscast; Sheriff Barefield was perfect.

There is great promise here: A perfect setting, great cast, and a generational story, I found it entertaining and it held my interest, sometimes more than other times. This is one of those good books that had all the underpinnings to be an amazing book. The Evil Preacher Chambliss with his deadly ceremonial snakes was evil incarnate, and could have used more history; the naive Julie's unaware descenion into sin, the father's alcoholic past -- there were several incidents that I wanted to hear more about which could have added some heft to the foundation of the saga.

A terrific debut novel that I enjoyed -- it's almost like comfort food for the ears. Cash is a writer I want to hear more from and won't just be waiting to hear about...I will be anxiously watching for his next book.





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- Mel

An American Tragedy

Not since "Night of the Hunter" can I remember a more charismatically evil "preacher" captivating a community and placing innocent children in peril. Two people know the danger in the preacher - the sheriff who has no legal evidence to act, and Adelaide, an elderly woman of the church who has appointed herself protector of the children in the congregation. These two are moral anchors of the community, in their own ways keepng the peace. But then the curiosity of two brothers sets events in motion that gain momentum and become explosive in a matter of only days.

Wiley Cash has perfectly captured the language of the region, with a finely tuned ear for genuine dialogue and prose. The characters are complexly gritty, tender, damaged and innocent, Told by three first-person voices, we get an inside look at life in the mountain country of North Carolina, where communities are close knit and closed in, and ruled by tobacco and fundamentalist religion. The three voices - Adelaide, Sheriff Barefield, and Jess Hall, a 10 year old boy terrified at being thrust center stage in the machinations of an adult world he can't understand, are all voiced impeccably by a trio of accomplished narrators. I generally avoid multiple-reader books, but seeing that Lorna Raver was included convinced me to give it a try. (Her performance of "Fried Green Tomatoes" was exquisite.) I was not disappointed.
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- Janice "Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-17-2012
  • Publisher: HarperAudio