Wiley Cash has a way with words. He can make you see a rain storm or love with equal clarity. In A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME he has written a beautiful elegy for love and death, faith and fear, condemnation and redemption. Told in three very different voices, the tale unfolds in starts and pauses and then backtracks on to itself. Occasionally Cash loses his way and the story loses momentum. But stick with him because in the pulsing end, you will know you have found a wonderful new voice.
A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME follows the inhabitants of a small back country Appalachian community. They include an outsider Sheriff and the drunk the sheriff blames for his son's death, the drunk's son and his church obsessed wife, their two young sons - one a mute, a spellbinding preacher with a hidden past and the area's "healer" woman. Cash is point perfect in detailing the culture of Appalachia, the speech patterns of his characters and an atmosphere of foreboding.
Book groups will find a wealth of topics including family dynamics, faith and faith that becomes oppressive, guilt and how it can poison relationships, fear of the unknown, outsiders, understanding disabilities, alcoholism, infidelity, and secrets.