Land More Kind Than Home (Cash) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Nine-year-old Jess Hall [is] one of the narrators of Wiley Cash's mesmerizing first novel…and it's his voice that we carry away from this intensely felt and beautifully told story.
Marilyn Stasio - New York Times

Mesmerizing...only Jess knows why his autistic older brother died on the very day he was taken into the church, and it’s his voice that we carry away from this intensely felt and beautifully told story.
New York Times Book Review

[C]ompelling…Like his fellow North Carolinian Ron Rash, Cash adeptly captures the rhythms of Appalachian speech…The story has elements of a thriller, but Cash is ultimately interested in how unscrupulous individuals can bend decent people to their own dark ends, often by invoking the name of God.
Steve Yarbrough—The Washington Post

Wiley Cash’s novel embeds a tender coming-of-age story within a suspense-filled thriller.... [A] clear-sighted, graceful debut.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

So beautifully written that you’ll be torn about how fast to read it. This is great, gothic Southern fiction.
NPR

Absorbing.... Cash uses well-placed flashbacks to flesh out his characters...and to illuminate a familiar truth of Southern lit: Many are the ways that fathers fail their sons.
Entertainment Weekly

A lyrical, poignant debut.... In the mode of John Hart, Tom Franklin, and early Pat Conroy, A Land More Kind Than Home explores the power of forgiveness [and] the strength of family bonds.
Florida Sun-Sentinel

A Land More Kind Than Home is a powerfully moving debut that reads as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Good old-fashioned storytelling.... With murder, religion, infidelity, domestic abuse, guns, whiskey and snake handling, Land is rich in unstable relationships and beautiful tragedy.
Ploughshares

Cash’s debut about a town gripped by a menacing preacher has the timeless qualities of the Old Testament...[a] very good book.
Daily Beast


Cash’s debut novel is a chilling descent into the world of religious frenzy in small town North Carolina. At the core of the book is a mysterious and demonic pastor, Carson Chambliss, an ex-con and born-again believer who uses snakes and poison to prove God’s love: he seduces the town with raucous church meetings where they dance, heal, and speak in tongues until one Sunday a mute child dies during evening service.... [T]he book is compelling, with an elegant structure and a keen eye for detail, matched with compassionate attention to character. The languid atmosphere seduces, and Cash’s fine first effort pulls the reader into a shadowy, tormented world where wolves prowl in the guise of sheep. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Associates.
Publishers Weekly


As lyrical, beautiful, and uncomplicated as the classic ballads of Appalachia, Cash's first novel is a tragic story of misplaced faith and love gone wrong.... [A]n autistic child becomes the victim of a special healing service, and the local sheriff launches an investigation. Told in three voices...the tragedy unfolds and compounds upon itself as the backgrounds of the major players are revealed and each reacts as conscience and faith demand. Verdict: ...Cash captures the reader's imagination...and maintains the wonder of the tale through to the coda of faith and affirmation. —Thomas Kilpatrick, formerly with Southern Illinois Univ. Lib., Carbondale
Library Journal


Up beyond Asheville, near where Gunter Mountain falls into Tennessee, evil has come to preach in a house of worship where venomous snakes and other poisons are sacraments. Cash's debut novel explores Faulkner-O'Connor country, a place where folks endure a hard life by clinging to God's truths echoing from hardscrabble churches.... As lean and spare as a mountain ballad, Cash's novel resonates perfectly, so much so that it could easily have been expanded to epic proportions. An evocative work about love, fate and redemption.
Kirkus Reviews

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