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Showing 1-10 of 607 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 869 reviews
on July 21, 2016
This book is so darn good! Excellent story and some of the best writing I have read in a long time. The writing was tight--not a word wasted. My heart was racing and I was on the edge of my seat for parts of this book. Mr. Cash handles multiple narrators and moves back and forth in time like a pro. I believe this is his first book. Amazing!
The story takes place in the mountains of North Carolina in the mid-1980's. It is narrated by an elderly woman, a young boy, and the 60-ish town sheriff. The voice of each narrator is different and believable. The story revolves around a secretive fundamentalist church with a sketchy preacher. People die there. A faith healing on a developmentally disabled mute boy goes terribly wrong. The consequences for his family and the town are deep and tragic. To say more would ruin the plot.
I ate this book up! I talk about it to anyone who will listen. Read this book! You won't be sorry. (I'm carrying on like I am related to the writer. I'm not).
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on April 11, 2017
This is one of the best books I've read this year. It's a wonderful story, evocative of the Appalachian region, and of a family's reaction to betrayals. The writing is beautiful and it's a very thought provoking tale. My one word of caution is that if you insist on a classical Hollywood ending, you won't quite find it here. But do get the book, and read it. You'll be glad you did.
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on June 1, 2016
I liked this book initially. I liked the characters, the plot, (though fairly obvious,) moved along. I thought is was a good story...until I got to the end. I just didnt get the ending. Mr. Cash took me down some pretty dark roads only to arrive at a relatively feeble conclusion that did not seem to do much justice to the violent events or the characters that drove the story. I think I was supposed to find something redemptive in the ending but it just wasnt there, at least for me. I just didnt buy the premis that the church survived as though that was the point from the beginning. To me the ulimate survival of the church was pretty much the least important aspect, it was an inexplicably preachy summation for a violent story. And the only thing this book has in common with To Kill a Mockingbird is a location in the south. For what its worth it probably isnt the worst book out there, but its not the best either.
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on April 26, 2012
Wiley Cash is new author who is from my native state of North Carolina. He is going to be a very successful author because of his talent. This first book has already made the New York Times best selling list; it debuted at 33. I predict it will make the top ten.

When it was available on Wiley's website, I immediately read the first chapter and an excerpt from the 5th chapter. I was hooked. I couldn't wait to read the entire book. I preordered from Amazon, thinking that they would ship it in time for me to have it on April 17. However, they did not ship until the release date, so I downloaded the Kindle version and began reading.

I was not disappointed. Wiley is a talented author! His characters are so well defined that we quickly care about them and feel like we are watching what they are doing. Set in the hills of North Carolina, you understand the feel of places immediately.

The plot is well planned with enough twists and turns to keep you interested in what is happening to the characters. The characters include two brothers, one a mute; an elderly spinster who knows just about everything about everybody in the small town; the sheriff of the town; and an evil, snake handling, pastor who manipulates his flock very well.

The dialogue in this book is mesmerizing! It is so well written, you can actually visualize the action of the characters. I am not a writer; but I am an avid reader. I read mostly Southern authors. Wiley Cash reminds me somewhat of Clyde Edgerton; but so much more of John Hart. Wiley grew up in Gastonia, NC and does what great writers do best; write about what they know.

I highly recommend A Land Kinder Than Home... which was taken from the last paragraph of Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again. I'm looking forward to Wiley Cash's second, which is already in the works.
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VINE VOICEon April 2, 2013
I finished reading A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash last week but I needed to digest it and think about it for awhile before I wrote my review. Even now I struggle to find the right words to describe this beautiful and tragic book.

Jess Hall is a nine year old boy growing up in the mountains of North Carolina. His older brother Christopher, a mute, has a "special day" at the church his mother attends but where children are not allowed. Jess, very protective of his older brother, sneaks to the church to spy on what is happening with his brother. Jess observes evil and the spiraling consequences will tear a family apart yet set up the opportunity for the healing of a community, a church and a boy.

Told through the voices of Jess, Adelaide an old woman who used to be a member of the church where Jess's mother attends, and Clem the sheriff--each of whom know various aspects of the truth, the reader gets to experience the whole story. Their stories combine as their histories in the small community twist together and turn into disaster but with the chance of redemption.

Wiley Cash is a writer who inspires deep, heart-wrenching emotion and brings a place to life with awe-inspiring, lyrical language. His characters are terribly real and the emotions so intense and honest that it's hard to believe it's fiction. Cash has earned his place with the greats. My husband rarely reads fiction but I forced him to read Leif Enger's Peace Like a River and I will force him to read A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash.
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on June 9, 2017
This is a wonderful book full of excitement and interesting characters. It definitely holds your interest all the way through. You don't want to stop reading it because you have to find out what happens next. You will wonder how horrible things like this can happen, but understand that life is not always happy. The characters are very mixed up in their lives, and the young boy will be a different person after all is done.
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on July 10, 2017
Amazing read. The story unfolds through the point of view of 3 character-narrators--a 9 year-old boy that inadvertently sets tragedy in motion, an elderly woman of wisdom and compassion, and a veteran sheriff with his own regrets. The author helpfully signals the transition from one point of view to the next by including the character's name at the top of each transitional chapter. Although it's a story of tragedy, it's also one of healing and redemption.
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Told in alternating chapters from three different viewpoints, A Land More Kind Than Home is a strong mystery, a lyrical evocation of place, and a heartbreaking family story.

An elderly woman named Adelaide Lyle introduces us to the little flyspeck of a town about an hour north of Asheville, North Carolina, and its church with the papered-up windows. Why doesn't Pastor Carson Chambliss want anyone to see inside the old storefront that houses his church? And why did such a deeply religious woman as Adelaide Lyle stop attending?

We next hear from Jess Hall, a little boy fervently attached to his older brother, and finally the local sheriff, Clem Barefield, shares what he knows. The focus of this book starts out soft and misty, but as we learn the story from these three people with their vastly different ages and life experiences, that focus sharpens dramatically-- and a feeling of dread begins to grow.

One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the fact that the story wasn't all spelled out for me. An old woman who doesn't get out much isn't going to see everything that goes on. A little boy may see many things that he can't understand or put words to. And a sheriff may have suspicions but no cold, hard facts to back them up. I had to piece everything together from these three narratives, and Cash's writing style made the work a pleasure. But for some strange reason, I couldn't come completely under the spell of his story or of his characters. I'm at a loss to explain it. The closest I can come is to say that I felt as though I'd read this story before. The particulars may be different, but the basic story is very familiar. Will this keep me from reading more of Wiley Cash's work? Absolutely not! And if you're in the mood for a mystery that's strong on setting, suspense, and characterization, I urge you to read A Land More Kind Than Home.
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on September 23, 2014
This is a scary book because a man uses religion to cover up his evil desires for power at any cost; he may actually believe what he says, but one cannot help but feel that Pastor Chambliss is a con man who may even be conning himself.
Cash does a fine job of trying to distinguish between religious faith that is genuine and good, and faith that ultimately leads to self inflation and great harm. He does this mostly through the character of Adelaide, an interesting, Christian woman who in her old age stands up to Pastor Chambliss and tries to stop him. The descriptions and characterizations are excellent, and the boy, Josh, is captured so well.
The climax seemed just a bit over the top, though I am sad to say it was not unrealistic in our culture of violence. I would actually give five stars if it had been handled a bit more artfully.
I was especially grateful that Cash did not rush his plot, and gave the reader a lot of back story.
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on January 21, 2014
. . . an old wise woman, the sheriff, and a nine-year-old boy, each takes turn-about telling the story of the tragedies that infest “The River Road Church of Christ in Signs Following” in Marshall, North Carolina. Their stories overlap and intertwine without ever losing the reader’s place in the narrative, which pushes us to try to find reasons why people act the way they do. People don't change, except when they do. Power is the reason, mostly, though love breaks through occasionally just to let us know that it's hanging around waiting on its turn to take over. Home is where kindness dwells, except sometimes when it doesn’t.
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