Free eBook A Land More Kind Than HomeAuthor Wiley Cash –

10 thoughts on “A Land More Kind Than Home

  1. says:

    By the end of this incredibly shocking and moving novel, words had left me This is one of those rare times where I had to sleep on a story before I could write my review to recover myself with a solid return to my own life from the one I had been living while reading this book.This story is told by three narrators, and as each takes over from the last, alternating throughout the chapters, the plot advances and we come to know all the people involved in this story Adelaide Lyle a woman in her early 80 s who has lived in Madison County, North Carolina almost her entire life She is a sage, a healer, a peace maker someone who others turn to when they are in trouble and sometimes when they want to make trouble or disguise trouble.Jess Hall a 9 year old boy with a 13 year old brother who is mute Although younger, Jess feels responsible for helping Christopher nickname Stump navigate a world that fears his handicap, a world that judges his difference as something to be fixed.Clem Barefield in his 60 s now, he has been the Sherriff in Marshall for decades The death of his son twenty years ago has ties to the Hall family Although there have been strange events associated with the church near Marshall that is run by Pastor Carson Chambliss over the past decade or so, Sherriff Clem has not interfered.Clem muses, 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 To be clear, the religion spoken about here is not the same as in most of the religious world Clem uses the word fanaticism, and he uses it accurately It is the kind of religion where a charismatic and forceful leader takes words from the Bible intended to be inspiring and turns them around so far that only their dark side can be seen And implemented.This novel has circles within circles and a spiral that gives us different views from every turn Different as people are different, yet held together by the time mid 1980 s and place The push of crumbling relationships, contested belief systems, isolation, and struggle is told with such pure, edgy simplicity, yet it has an impetus and power that rivals a cataclysmic disaster.This novel left me breathless and with a deep well of sadness inside It also left me with hope and the feeling that ultimately, people can and will change Hope, and the assurance that although change sometimes requires a huge cost, common sense and shared humanity rise to conquer people s dark, misguided selves Eventually.

  2. says:

    You show me a woman who calls herself a Christian up in these parts, and I ll show you a woman who knows how to heal It ain t un Christian to make do when you re poor, I can promise you that You just show me a Christian woman up here, and I ll show you a woman who knows what to pick and where to find it If you don t know how to heal yourself, then you don t know how to live when times are hard. ahhhh, another salt of the earth, take care of your own business kind of book.and another great one, at that.this definitely reminds me of that tom franklin brand of crime fiction, but this one is somehow even grim than Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter in the best way, of course here we have a story of a preacher come to a small town in north carolina with a past full of sins and a hankering to form his own little cult of snake handlers and affliction healers covering up the church windows with newspaper and ostensibly leading his congregation on the path to glory, speaking in tongues and laying on of hands.except, sometimes, behind those newspaper covered windows, people will die.including a teenaged boy mute and somewhere on the autism spectrum, who has seen something he just shouldn t have seen, and will be healed so hard he will end up dead.the story is told through the narration of three characters the brother of the deceased boy, the sheriff of madison county, and the elderly adelaide lyle, who knows what the preacher is, but is powerless against him she has managed one small victory in taking the children out of the church and schooling them herself every week, but that is a small victory, and cold comfort when christopher stump dies in that very church.the most powerful element of this story is the transformation of the family after stump dies, particularly stump and jess father s transformation this is deep, heartbreaking stuff here it is a story of powerlessness, and the way that we rarely have the opportunity to do the right thing because of lack of knowledge, or courage, or proof it is about small town clannishness,and old grudges, and the difficulties of seeing the big picture in the midst of a crisis.eventually, it is about healing but the healing comes at a great price, and leaves a permanent hurt.definitely worth reading and if penguin UK weren t so stingy, i would be reading his new one through netgalley right now.dammit.come to my blog

  3. says:

    Beautifully written book, debut of this writer, a real recommendation from my part Yes, the book is a slow read, not really pacy story, but that did not bother me at all, all the does the beauty of the story, the atmosphere and the writing come through I loved the change of narrator and story line per chapter And you really feel the tension and atmosphere drifting from the pages A Land More Kind than Home tells the story of the bond between two young brothers and the evil they face in a small North Carolina town The novel is narrated by three characters, nine year old Jess, the youngest of the two boys and the lone witness to the tragedy that befalls his autistic brother Stump under an adult s hand Adelaide Lyle, the church matriarch and moral conscience whose suspicion of a preacher drives her from the congregation and Clem Barefield, a local sheriff with his own tragic past, who struggles to untangle the roots of the tragedy in a community that has been intimidated into silence They said he could perform miracles, heal the sick like my brother Stump After it happened, they said that sometimes miracles go wrong They say it was God s will, and that s all there is to it But I know what I saw and it wasn t a miracle I hope this author publishes a new book soon

  4. says:

    The title of the book is taken from Thomas Wolfe s You Can t Go Home Again, referring to death as how we find a land kind than home, large than earth, so you have to expect some unpleasantness before we come to the end.Evil arrives in garish togs Carson Chambliss is a reverend of suspect provenance He comes to town, takes over an unused church, papers over the windows and mesmerizes his congregation with some very old time religion He seems particularly taken with snakes, handling them, using them as a test of faith, and finding some other uses besides He is a big believer in faith healing A considerable scar has marred his hand and who know how far up the damage goes No shades of gray here, CC is a baddie He brings not only his somewhat charred history and odd passions, but real danger to some of the inhabitants of Madison, North Carolina, a sleepy tobacco growing town.The story is told through the eyes of three narrators, Sheriff Clem Barefield, Adelaide Lysle and young Jess Hall Jess is an ordinary kid, curious, energetic, but with a bit on his shoulders than other ten or eleven year olds His older brother Christopher, who everyone calls Stump, was born mute, autistic most likely, and Jess looks out for him Stump and Jess do a bit of spying and see something they shouldn t, setting in motion a wildfire of deceit, violence and revenge that affects much of the town Sheriff Barefield, charged with trying to keep the peace in town, has some personal history that still haunts him and affects how he goes about his business.Addie Lysle heroically acts as a guardian angel, trying to keep Chambliss from harming the town s children She tells of her battles with evil, but how much protection can one woman provide Is this a tale of good versus evil CC is definitely evil, no question And Adelaide Lysle stands strongly for good, but there are diverse forces lined up against CC and most of them have chinks in their moral armor Jess withholds critical information Jess father, Ben, has issues with anger and another kind of withholding The sheriff allows his anger at old events get the better of him The only real innocent here is Stump, but he is not really involved in the battle Maybe this is a case of human versus evil Can you ever go home again I guess it depends on why you left and what remains there that might still retain a hold Is location destiny We are told of one man who burned his own home because he thought the devil lived there No going home again for him Maybe a home being on particularly high ground made its residents susceptible to tragedy living in a lowland, or in town house would have avoided Might it be that a childhood home rich in religion can make one feel that church is a home This is an impressive first novel Cash has crafted engaging characters, a story that will keep you burning through the pages, and enough content to make the journey worth your time Hopefully your home is a kind enough place in which to read this and you do not have to go looking for something kinder PSHere is a piece by the author that is worth reading.

  5. says:

    A sinister thriller with all the elements you look for in southern gothic Good versus evil, a tragic morality tale spiced with carnal sin and deceit, its focus the terrible cost to a community when blind faith and religious fervor is taken to the cult level You ve got the perfect villain in Carson Chambliss, a crooked snake lovin pastor, nastier than the rattlers he uses to test the devotion of his flock Caught in his cross hairs is poor Stump Hall, a young mute boy who s only line of defense is a 10 yr old his kid brother Jess and a 70 yr old named Adelaide Lyle She s perfection as the came off the mountain town mid wife, gutsy I drove back from that meeting with Chambliss as scared as I d ever been in my entire life , simple but sharp enough to see right through Chambliss and hell bent on protecting the children from him Good thing because Stump s mother is nothing but a holy fool and his father while a good man, oblivious to the danger threatening his family Throw in a mean drunk for a granddaddy and a town sheriff with his own demons to contend with Seriously, what could you ask for Wiley Cash s debut and it read s like it was written by a pro A southern boy raised in an evangelical church, he s got the dialect, setting and characters down pat You could tell that autumn was bearing down on us because the leaves on the trees atop the ridge were just starting to get notions of color His tension building is slow relentless, pulled me into that backwoods little North Carolina town held on right through to its inevitably tragic conclusion 4 stars Cons Switching perspectives between 3 narrators old Adelaide, sheriff Barefield young Jess Jess s was the weakest, the pacing suffered for it In fairness 10 yr olds can only hold my attention for so long The telling by Adelaide Sheriff Barefield than made up for it And no getting around it the ending is overblown but hey, it felt appropriate and oddly satisfying.________________________________________ Mark 16 17 18 And these signs will follow those who believe In my name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues they will pick up snakes with their hands and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them they will place their hands on the sick, and they will get well

  6. says:

    I am surprised how quickly I was drawn into this book I didn t want to read it at first because I thought it might be a bit too dark for me and I wasn t sure if I really wanted to read a story about religious fanaticism I m glad I did read it in spite of the fact that this book was gut wrenching and tragic and dark and it made me just about hold my breath waiting for the inevitable to happen.I know it may sound odd to say that this is a readable book but it really is From the first word there is no going back , only forward it is so gripping There are multiple story tellers Jess Hall s focus is on the present lending us a 9 year old s view of this world in a small town in North Carolina defined by tobacco farming and religion I was heartbroken for what he endures and was moved to tears as he tells about his relationship with his mute brother Stump and how he has to deal with things that he just can t understand Through Adelaide Lyle , who has delivered many of the children and their parents and Clem Barefield , the sheriff, who carries his own personal loss and sorrow , we come to know about the pasts of Ben and Julia Hall, Jess and Stump s parents and Carson Chambliss, the minister who is the personification of evil It s eerie and dark and sad , yet beautifully written While there is a feeling of hope and redemption in the end I couldn t help but ask at what cost I can t imagine that I will forget about this book any time soon I was left with the thought that Wiley Cash was born to write.

  7. says:

    4.5 stars rounded upA Land More Kind Than Home is a daring, haunting, and heartfelt story of courage and the bond between two brothers that left me lost and mesmerized in the all my heart and soul lush coulee I settled in my grassy spot to read and soon I was checking the grass for the evil that I could feel slithering in, leaving me a little uncomfortable in my Coulee The love and bond between Jess Hall and his brother soon had me moving into a safer grassy spot with my guard up for the evil hiding behind the face of what should be good and safe Wiley Cash creates the strongest narrators here for me with these complicated and troubled characters, allowing me to become completely engrossed in their stories I loved the intensity, grit, and suspense to this one and Cash does a great job of showing me what his character s words wanted me to see It left me with no questions as to who to trust with this one, just the intense suspense to see how it all comes together in the end I highly recommend For all my reviews featuring Wiley Cash please check out our Travelling Sister Bloghttps twogirlslostinacouleereading.

  8. says:

    A Land More Kind Than Home The Debut Novel of Wiley Cash Wiley CashWiley Cash takes his title from the final lines of You Can t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe The epigraph Cash chose sets the tone of the work that follows Something has spoken to me in the nightand 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 kind than home, large than earth Cash skilfully spins his tale through three distinct points of view Adelaide Lyle, an elderly lady who provides the history and background of the story, serving as moral conscience of the story nine year old Jess Hall, the portrait of innocence lost and Clem Barefield, sheriff of Madison County, North Carolina for twenty five years First taking office in 1961, Barefield sets the events in the story in 1986.Madison County is as far west in North Carolina as you can get, butting against the border of Tennessee Marshall is the County seat A patchwork of deep wooded valleys and steep mountains, tobacco farmers in the western region of the state produce burley tobacco on farms hewed out of land reminiscent of a network of roller coasters than agriculture Marshall, NC, County Seat of Madison CountyFolks in the Appalachians are God fearing Passing through, if the Spirit moves you, you won t have a problem finding a church But I d recommend steering clear of churches in old grocery stores and gas stations, especially if the name of the church ends in the words in Signs Following Folks put their faith on exhibition by handling serpents, drinking strychnine, and handling fire to see if it ll burn em Inside a Church of Christ With Signs FollowingAdelaide LyleNow, you take the church in this book It didn t start out that way Once upon a time it was the French Broad Church of Christ in a real cburch with pews and a steeple, headed up by Pastor Matthews But the cancer got him back in 75 Then along comes this fellow from out of nowhere, name of Carson Chambliss.It didn t take long for about half the congregation to up and leave when Chambliss took over pastoring Without half the congregation, the bank took the church and sold it to the Presbyterians That was fine with Chambliss who moved the church down to the old grocery store and papered the windows so nobody passing by could see what was going on inside that building.Chambliss put up a sign by the road at the edge of the parking lot and changed the name to River Road Church of Christ in Signs Following Now, you remember what I told you about those churches ending their name in Signs Following Underneath the name of the church he painted Mark 16 17 18 That s those verses that say you got faith you can pick up serpents, drink poison, and the Holy Ghost will keep you safe 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, toothat hadn t ever acted like that a day in their lives But Chambliss convinced them it was safe to challenge the will of God Jess HallI m nine and my brother is eleven His name is Christopher but everybody calls him Stump He s never said a word He s bigger than me but I m the leader We live with Mama and Daddy Daddy grows tobacco When he hangs it in the barn and it dries out it smells so good.Stump and I get in trouble with Mama when we snoop There s things we shouldn t know about One day Stump and me were outside and heard the noises Mama and Daddy make sometimes when we re told to go outside and play Stump climbed up on the rain barrel but it wasn t Daddy in there making those noises I saw Mama s preacher leave the house and he looked at me and Stump I didn t tell Daddy about the noises.On Sunday Mama went down to the church like she always does Daddy doesn t go Instead of leaving us at Sunday School with Miss Adelaide, Mama took Stump with her I wanted to go, but she wouldn t let me Only Stump She took him to night church, too I don t know what happened But Stump died Daddy got so mad at the men from church that brought Stump home he hit them and hit them.Clem BarefieldTwenty five years next month That s how long I ve been Sheriff here in Madison County My grandfather was Sheriff over in Henderson County And my father farmed apples there Hendersonville, Flat Rock, they re little than an hour away, but living here is as close to living in a different world as you can get, no matter how old you get.People here are different They re superstitious Know the old mountain ways Religion is so thick in the hills and hollers up here you can stir it with a stick But I haven t had a reason to set foot inside a church in years than I can count, especially after my son Jeff died It s not natural for a man to outlive his son Jeff and Ben Hall were friends, good friends Ben settled down, married, became a good farmer, a good provider.There s calls you get that don t amount to nothin Then there s those you get you can t forget My wife Sheila handed me the phone and it was Robby, my Deputy, telling me Ben Hall s boy Stump was laying dead up at Adelaide Lyle s house Killed in that damned church over on River Road.Sheila told me not to let things get out of hand There s some times though you can t keep from gettin out of hand Specially when that damned crazy preacher Chambliss is at the bottom of things How the Hell does a boy get killed in a church Why in the Hell do you kill a child who is incapable of speaking a word The ReviewerWiley Cash can write He can tell a story Cash began A Land Before Time while a graduate student in Louisiana His mentor, as he worked on his dissertation, was Ernest Gaines What an opportunity Ernest Gaines I love me some Ernest Gaines BooksEveryone seems to love this book Cash is one of the new darlings of the publishing world His interview with Vanity Fair is entitled Author Wiley Cash on Being the Justin Timberlake of American Literature dust jacket gleams with blurbs to the point you d think this book came wrapped in stars Clyde Edgerton said it would knock your socks off Gail Godwin said it was like stepping into a Greek tragedy Ernest Gaines blurb is a little bit interesting Although it begins with a glow it dims to a weak glimmer I think this could be the beginning of a long fruitful career In an interview with Brad Wetherell in Fiction Writers Review Cash said he got the basic idea of his plot from a newspaper clipping about a young autistic boy being smothered during a healing ceremony in a store front church in Chicago Cash wanted to move it South to North Carolina I wish I could love this book as many reviewers and readers seem to However, as well as Cash can cause the reader to keep turning the pages, he leaves some mighty big gaps in his story How was Chambliss chosen as the new minister at the ill fated church How did Chambliss manage to convert a Church of Christ into an unquestioning foot stompin , snake handlin strychnine drinkin fire handlin bunch with such ease Sure, this is a work of fiction But even writers of fiction might do a little research about an area in which so much documentation exists, such as the Holiness Church movement Bottom line, there are few converts to serpent handling These churches, found up through Appalachia, consist of small congregations which include descendants of the original founding members They don t grow into practicing churches overnight Cash should read Salvation on Sand Mountain Snake Handling and Redemption in Southern Appalachia by Dennis Covington.Cash is being touted as the next Tom Franklin Sorry Franklin never left so many gaps in a story I think Ernest Gaines is right This book could be the beginning of a fruitful career Or it could turn into a series of incredulous stories The choice is Cash s.I wouldn t discourage anyone from reading this book I rate it a 4 for the prose, a 3 for the plot with an over all 3.5 Hallelujah UPDATE Chosen as a group read by members of On the Southern Literary Trail for August, 2013.

  9. says:

    and I can tell you God makes us how he needs us to be Wiley Cash, A Land More Kind Than HomeWhat was there to do for Clem Barefield, the sheriff for twenty five years of Marshville, in Madison County, with pastor Carson Chambliss, who ran his church like he was Jesus Christ himself, had a following that would believe in his message to their deaths, and a church with windows covered in newspapers, and his idea of religion that was like a drug to these souls 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 re on it they re likely to do anything these little backwoods churches tell them to do like drinking poison, handling snakes and fire.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 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 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.Nine year old Jess Hall, second son of Ben and Julie Hall, was the keeper of his older brother Stump, the mute friend and soulmate, in a time when silence was important to his dad, and the church the voice of reason for his mother Jess and Stump explored the mysteries of the world, but discovered one mystery too many that left young Jess with a guilty secret.Sheriff Clem Barefield, the outsider, the rational voice of the law, had to defy the laws of God and the self anointed presenter on earth, Carson Chambliss, to get to the facts For in religion and stories, there is always a deeper truth disguised behind the lies The problem was how to determine what was lies and what was truth And what to do when his own road of life crossed intimately with some members of the community.MY COMMENTSA literary thriller southern noir southern gothic grit litt In the rhythmic dialect of the Souths because the dialects differ from region to region, resulting in than one south a tale of hope of deliverance and salvation, and the power of forgiveness enfolds in the mountains of North Carolina I was so immediately invested in this story, making it my own, since it reminded me of one of the most profound books I have ever read in this genre The Night of the Hunter by Davis Grubb.https review showBoth books not only knocked my socks off, it also ripped my heart out.THE ELEMENTS IN THE BOOKThere are three protagonists who represent a true portrayal of the community They provide a well rounded, multi perspective angle to this story 1 the emotional element through Jess, the young innocent boy 2 the spiritual balance through Adelaide Lyle 3 and the voice of reason through sheriff Clem Barefield.Through their eyes, introducing the history, customs and complexity of all the characters, a tale of love and sorrow is told with a fine balance between the lighter and darker components in the book More dark than light A Land More Kind Than Home is an atmospheric lyrical and literary thriller which deserves all the accolades it received as a bestseller MY REACTIONS I made war with Julie I wanted to confront the author man how I wanted to drive Wiley Cash off the dang bridge I was shocked and sad emotionally spent but in the end I was so grateful for the author s brilliant storytelling and mastery with words.What an unbelievable journey this book has been How can I ever forget it Like The Night of the Hunter this book lands up on my All Time Favorite shelf.HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PS A 1967 documentary called The Holy Ghost People about the religious handling of snakes and drinking poison in some American churches, can be viewed here

  10. says:

    What the mute boy sees is unspeakable what goes on behind the covered windows in that church is unforgivable How many times have we been told that life isn t fair I ve learned to just go ahead and take fairness out of the equation If you do, things stand the chance of making a whole lot sense Wise words from Sheriff Clem Barefield, Madison County, North Carolina Addie Lyle, 81 years old and is as sharp as a tack She sees right through the viperous Carson Chambliss, preacher of the local church His stock in trade includes the handling of poisonous snakes and faith healing, lording it over anyone who is not a true believer The relationship between young brothers Jess and Stump seemed spot on My heart went out to the both of them I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the characters A very fine debut novel.

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 TownFor 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 WellTold 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