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A Land More Kind than Home (2012)

by Wiley Cash

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1,14210413,304 (3.86)161
Growing up in a small North Carolina town, Jess Hall is plunged into an adulthood for which he is not prepared when his autistic older brother, Stump, sneaks a look at something he is not supposed to see, which has catastrophic repercussions.
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» See also 161 mentions

English (103)  Dutch (1)  All languages (104)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
A Southern saga based in the mountains of North Carolina, using four voices: a 10-year old boy whose mute brother is killed during a Church "healing" ceremony, the local sheriff, the Sunday school teacher, who disagrees with the preacher's ways, and the father. Betrayal, infidelity, alcohol abuse, etc. Not as good as John Hart. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. I tried and tried to get into it, but was instead repeatedly drawn out of it by ridiculous overly developed metaphors (there were sometimes two or three metaphors in a single run-on sentence). I couldn't stand the characters' redneck voices and so I found myself barely paying attention to the story. After giving up and, a few days later, reading the jacket copy again, I realized that "Jess" a main character was a boy when I had thought he was a girl. Realized the "Ms. Lyle" mentioned repeatedly by Jess was the older lady/midwife that narrated the first section . . . . seriously I was so bored my reading comprehension must have been zilch.

I am not one to put a book down and have slogged my way through some really horrible tomes, but this one was intolerable. I am seriously shocked by the number of good reviews--the reviewers must have greater fortitude than I. ( )
  hlkate | Oct 12, 2020 |
Depressing story but well written. The narrative from different prescriptive was hard to follow up sometimes. Julia's character felt it needed more in depth explanation for her actions. ( )
  hivetrick | Feb 22, 2020 |
A Recommended Read. Wiley Cash’s debut novel A Land More Kind Than Home is a spectacular and powerful story that brings life in rural North Carolina to vibrantly to life. Set in the 1980s, it is an profound tale of dark secrets, a charismatic evangelical minister and the evil that is sometimes wrought in the name of religion. To read my review in its entirety, please visit http://www.bookreviewsandmorebykathy.com/2012/04/19/a-land-more-kind-than-home/ ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
Inspired by a news story about faith healing gone awry, there is a decent short story in here, but the author bloats it up to novel length with unnecessary characters and scenes. I feel like I could rip one or two hundred pages out of the middle and still have enjoyed the book just as much as I did. Most of the sheriff's scenes seemed unneeded, as were the scenes with Adelaide past the first chapter.

And the villain of the book was just a one-dimensional stock figure who literally lurked in shadows throughout the book. He reminded me of Boyd Crowder so much that I couldn't get the TV show Justified out of my head while reading, thinking this might have made a decent three-episode arc.

Regardless, I liked the atmosphere of the book, even if it went on too long, the ending was simplistic, and the swerve to make it about fathers and sons was late and unwelcome. Really, I liked it, despite how much I keep criticizing it. ( )
  villemezbrown | Nov 15, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
A church committed to handling poisonous snakes is the catalyst for tragedy in this debut novel. Pastor Carson Chambliss has a small North Carolina congregation in his thrall. He decides that a laying on of hands will cure an autistic boy, but instead his efforts lead to the boy's death. Cash employs three characters as narrators: Jess, the nine-year-old younger brother; Adelaide Lyle, an aged local midwife; and the county sheriff. Jess' narration is limited by his age and innocence. The county sheriff is taciturn, but Adelaide is voluble, a true southern storyteller, and her narration burnishes a compelling sense of rural place.--Gaughan, Thomas Copyright 2010 Booklist
added by kthomp25 | editBooklist, Thomas Gaughan
 

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Epigraph
"Es hat nach mir gerufen in der Nacht und hat zu mir gesagt, ich werde sterben - wo weiss ich nicht. Es hat gesagt: 'Lass fahren diese Erde, die du kennst, um höherer Erkenntnisse willen; lass fahren die geliebten Freunde, um einer höheren Liebe willen; ein Land erwartet dich, das gültiger als die Heimat ist und grösser als die Erde...'" - Thomas Wolfe, Es führt kein Weg zurück
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 you 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 ,ind than home, more large than earth."
- Thomas Wolfe, You Can't Go Home Again
Dedication
Für M.N.B.
M.B.C. for you, because of you.
First words
Kiesstaub wehte über den Parkplatz, während ich im Wagen sass und das Gebäude als das sah, was es gewesen war; nicht als das, was jetzt in diesem Augenblick im heißen Sonnenlicht war, sondern rund zwölf oder fünfzehn Jahre zuvor: ein grosser Gemischtwarenladen, wo sich die Leute vor der Essenstheke drängelten oder in einer Schlange vor dem Limonadenstand warteten, wo kleine Kinder sich Eis in so ziemlich jeder erdenkbaren Geschmacksrichtung bestellten, wo sie Bonbons in Viertelpfundtüten kauften, Schokokekse, Zuckermandeln und andere Sachen, auf die ich seit Jahren schon keinen Appetit mehr hatte.
I sat there in the car with the grave dust blowing across the parking lot and saw the place for what it was, not what it was right at that moment in the hot sunlight, but for what is had been maybe twelve or fifteen years before: a real general store with folks gathered around the lunch counter, a line of people at the soda fountain, little children ordering ice cream of just about every flavor you could think of, hardy candy by the quarter pound, moon pies and crackerjack and other things I hadn't thought about tasting in years.
Quotations
It takes a lifetime to build equity in loss.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Growing up in a small North Carolina town, Jess Hall is plunged into an adulthood for which he is not prepared when his autistic older brother, Stump, sneaks a look at something he is not supposed to see, which has catastrophic repercussions.

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Book description
Deep in the heart of western North Carolina lies Marshall, a quiet, unassuming mountain town that believes in protecting its own-especially if they harbor secrets. That't the way it's always been-and always will be-a belief instilled in them for generations. For a curious boy like Jesse Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when your mother catches you spying on grownups. An adventurous, precocious boy, 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 isn't supposed to-an act that will have catastrophic repercussions, shattering both his world and Jess's. It is a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he is not prepared. While there is mch about the world that still confuses him, he now knows that new understanding can bring not only a growing danger and evil, but the balm of freedom and deliverance as well. (ARC)
Haiku summary
To cure a mute, pray

In your own style for it;

Despair to follow.

(legallypuzzled)

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