Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash - Plus A Giveaway

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Published April 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers
Source: my copy courtesy of the publisher and TLC Book Tours in exchange for this review

Publisher's Summary:
For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when you get caught spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is 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 repercussions. It's a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he's not prepared. He now knows that a new understanding can bring not only danger and evil—but also the possibility of freedom and deliverance.  

Top Ten Reasons Book Clubs Will Want To Read A Land More Kind Than Home

If your book club decides to take Wiley's suggestion, here is a reading guide from HarperCollins. 

My Thoughts:
A Land More Kind Than Home was all the buzz in the book world last year among bloggers. This can be a turn off for me, as I've said before. I find it hard to believe that one book can be so loved by such a wide range of readers. Eventually I find myself reading most of those books and sometimes I do find that those books just don't work for me in the way they worked for everyone else. A Land More Kind Than Home isn't one of those books. It is a book that I found to be more than deserving of all the accolades it earned. It is a lovely, heartwarming book, that reminded me in tone, somewhat, of To Kill A Mockingbird. From the start Cash pulls you into his Southern tale with an intriguing plot and both unusual characters and the very characters you expect to find in this kind of book. He can do that because Cash has a way of making those characters come alive; there is nothing about his characters that felt stereotypical to me.

I found myself surprised by the tension in the book. I suppose that the mention of "danger and evil" in the publisher's summary should have been a clue and the first chapter tells readers that there is going to be trouble. Even so, I was unprepared for it. Perhaps that's what Cash intended. He builds toward a powerful ending throughout the book but pauses long enough throughout to flesh out the background of his characters and ease up a bit on the running plot line. Cash uses multiple first-person narrative to weave the lives of elderly Adelaide Lyle, Jess Hall and his family, fire and brimstone pastor Carson Chambliss, and Sheriff Clem Baresfield together in a way that made me feel deeply for each of them.

Wiley Cash is right - your book club should read this book. There is so much to discuss: love, guilt, justice, redemption, religion, loss. Thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me in this tour; to read more opinions about this book, check out the full tour. To learn more about Wiley Cash, check out his website, like him on Facebook, or find out what he's thinking about by following him on Twitter.

Now for the good news! I have one copy of A Land More Kind Than Home to give away (sorry, U.S. residents only). To enter, just leave a comment below telling me your favorite novel set in the south. I'll announce the winner on Sunday, January 27th.


  1. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman is my favorite novel set in the south.


  2. I just downloaded this one from the library! I just logged on and there it was! Lucky me!

  3. I am very interested in this book for many reasons, the mystery and your wonderful review.
    I loved To Kill a Mockingbird so if this book is half as good, I know I will love it too!

    Thank you for this great review.


  4. Sounds like a great book club book! My favorite Southern set book is the Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd.

  5. thanks for this giveaway. My favorite novel set in the South is Five Miles South of Peculiar. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. I am interested in this novel. A novel set in the South which I thought was great was, The Sisters Montclair. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  7. I just ordered this one on audio, and can't wait for it to get here! I have a paper copy as well, signed by Cash, but I am finding that if it's in audio, I am more likely to get it finished quickly. It sounds like an amazing book, and one that I am going to love. Like you, the hype dpes get to me sometimes, but I have a lot of respect for your opinions, and think that we have some of the same reading tastes. Excellent review today!!

  8. I really enjoyed this book too, it was beautifully written.

  9. I purchased this on I think it will make it to my iPod sooner rather than later!! Can't wait to listen to it!!

  10. My favorite novel set in the south is "Gone With the Wind."

  11. Must admit I was intrigued by the clever video clip - glad to hear it's worth the read!

  12. wow this sounds like an amazing book! I love Southern tales!

  13. I'm glad you enjoyed this one! Thanks for being on the tour. I'm featuring your review on TLC's Facebook page today.