Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Land More Kind Than Home

A Land More Kind Than Home
Take two young brothers, close in heart, one of them disabled.  Inseparable. Then put them in the mountains of western North Carolina, amid some of the evangelical folks who live there, but back in the simpler days before cell phones and wireless internet. A time and a place in Appalachia when healing was often thought to be a matter of faith alone.
All it takes is one evil person to get the story rolling. This time that person is the leader of his self-established church where odd and unmentionable things happen behind newspaper-ed windows.
This is gothic southern fiction, a first-published book by North Carolina native, Wiley Cash. Ultimately, a tale of loss, it is also a tale of courage. Cash excels in catching the voices of his three narrators, a boy, a woman and a man, lending authenticity to the tone of the novel. Having spent some time in the area around Asheville, I was especially interested in the geographic references and I’m sure anyone living in that part of the US would really enjoy the familiarity and southern flavour of both place and character.
This book would make an excellent book club selection with many themes for discussion: parenting, grandparenting, fathers and sons, religion, southern culture, rural life, tragedy and hope, to name a few.