A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

Posted by on Jan 29, 2018 in 2018, 4.5 stars, Book Review, Wiley Cash | 3 comments

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley CashA Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

Genre: Fiction
Format: Trade Paperback and ebook
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 306
Source: Purchased (paperback), Library(ebook)

The Book:
From the back cover:

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. Told by resonant and evocative characters, A Land More Kind Than Home is a haunting tale of courage in the face of cruelty and the power of love to overcome the darkness that lives in us all.

My Thoughts:
Every single one of my friends who recommended this book was right. I loved it.

The book is told by three people in alternating chapters.
Jess is 9 years old and his voice as both observer and protagonist is the one that will stick with me.

Adelaide Lyle is an older woman who took it upon herself to keep the children outside of the local church during services.

Clem Barfield is the local sheriff who has his own sad past and a history with Jess’s grandfather.

It’s the preacher in the local church who is the embodiment of evil dressed as a messenger of God.

This is a heartbreakingly sad story but it is beautifully told and I won’t soon forget these characters. The story itself grabbed me right away and was eager to find out what happened. Along the way Cash created a place and atmosphere that I could almost tactically sense as I was reading. The more the story continued the more I started to dread the outcome.

I’ve seen many reviews that stress how Cash was able to accurately capture the regional dialect and area of western North Carolina. I know I could both see and hear what was happening in my mind as I read it.

The lyrical writing is a stark contrast to the violence of the story but it all works so beautifully. I am definitely looking forward to reading Wiley Cash’s new book.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

Posted by on Mar 3, 2017 in 2017, 4.5 stars, Book Review, Wiley Cash | 4 comments

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash
This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 230
Source: Purchased

The Book:
From the publisher:

After their mother’s unexpected death, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are adjusting to life in foster care when their errant father, Wade, suddenly appears. Since Wade signed away his legal rights, the only way he can get his daughters back is to steal them away in the night.

Brady Weller, the girls’ court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and he quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armored car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing. But Brady Weller isn’t the only one hunting the desperate father. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due.

Narrated by a trio of alternating voices, This Dark Road to Mercy is a story about the indelible power of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.

My Thoughts:
Every single one of my friends who recommended this book was right. I loved it.

The book is told by three people in alternating chapters.

Easter is twelve years old and while she can be exasperated by her younger sister she’s also extremely protective of her. Their mother is dead and their father signed away his parental rights. When Wade shows up at their foster home she’s naturally suspicious of him. I loved Easter. She’s smart, cynical and funny.

Brady Waller is the guardian ad litem for Easter and Ruby. He’s trying to do the right thing for them but at the same time he’s facing some demons of his own. He’s made mistakes in his past that are still haunting him.

Robert Pruitt is evil. He’s trying to track down Wade partly because he’s been hired to do so but mostly because he wants revenge.

There is a lot packed into this relatively short book. It’s a coming of age story, it’s a suspense thriller, it’s a road trip story, it’s a redemption story. It’s all told beautifully. Cash sets the story at the time that Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were closing in on Roger Maris’ home run record. The sights and sounds of baseball provide the background music throughout the book.

I will be getting Cash’s first book soon and I’m happy to see he has a new one due out in October.

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5

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