The small hill towns of Western North Carolina can be a peaceful and bucolic setting. They can also be the home of evil. In A Land More Kind Than Home that evil manifests itself in the local town preacher, Carson Chambliss who uses his power and influence over his congregation to “praise the Lord” in his own bizarre manner which includes poisonous snakes.
The story is told from three different points of view. The first is young Jess who feels the burden of being responsible for his older brother, Stump, a deaf-mute. The second is the local mid-wife, Adelaide, a parishioner who is able to see through the charms and spells of pastor Chambliss and finally, Sheriff Clem Barefield whose job it is to bring justice to the small town of Marshall, NC.
A terrible tragedy strikes one of the characters and the book progresses from the three viewpoints which tell the story.
Wiley Cash, in his debut novel, proves to be a wonderful writer. His soft, almost poetic, style is perfect for conveying the mood of the town and the uniqueness of the area. His writing is powerful and some of the scenes are gut-wrenching but every page is a tribute to his writing skills.
A Land More Kind Than Home is an excellent book. It’s quite different from most of the books I have read and I am certainly glad I read it. I am giving this one four **** stars.