Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Lyrical Southern Novel Atmospheric and Powerfully Rendered

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Adelaide Lyle doesn't go inside the church anymore.  The only reason she comes anywhere near the building is for the children.  Kids should not be anywhere close to the River Road Church of Christ in Signs Following or its dangerous pastor.  It's up to the 81-year-old midwife to steer them away, to keep them safe.  Their parents might believe in Pastor Chambliss' poison-drinking, snake-handling brand of faith, but that doesn't mean the children should be in harm's way.

Despite Adelaide's watchful eye, a mute, autistic teenager dies during church services.  Although the pastor claims the boy's death was an accident, Adelaide doesn't believe it.  Not for a minute.  Strange, sinister things follow Carson Chambliss wherever he goes.  What really happened inside the church?  Why is an innocent boy dead?  

A Land More Kind Than Home, a debut novel by Wiley Cash, tells the story of a tragic death and the ways in which it rocks a small North Carolina town.  Atmospheric and powerfully rendered, it hits on important subjects—faith vs. fanaticism, revenge vs. redemption, and remorse vs. regret.  It's an undeniably sad novel, but a compelling one nonetheless. The story has stuck with me, even though it's been months since I read it.  If you enjoy rich, thought-provoking Southern fiction, you won't want to miss this one.

(Readalikes: Reminded me a little of The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (1 F-bomb, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

3 comments:

  1. I just don't know if I can handle this one but it does sound good.

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  2. Adelaide doesn't sound like your typical protagonist; but then this doesn't sound like a typical read. I'm going to keep this one in mind. :)

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  3. Oh that's my daughter's name :) This sounds interesting and something I will keep in mind. Great review!

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