A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

83%

43 Critic Reviews

As lean and spare as a mountain ballad, Cash’s novel resonates perfectly, so much so that it could easily have been expanded to epic proportions. An evocative work about love, fate and redemption.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“Bold, daring, graceful, and engrossing.”
—Bobbie Ann Mason

“This book will knock your socks off….A first novel that sings with talent.”
—Clyde Edgerton

In his phenomenal debut novel—a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small North Carolina town—author Wiley Cash displays a remarkable talent for lyrical, powerfully emotional storytelling. A Land More Kind than Home is a modern masterwork of Southern fiction, reminiscent of the writings of John Hart (Down River), Tom Franklin (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter), Ron Rash (Serena), and Pete Dexter (Paris Trout)—one that is likely to be held in the same enduring esteem as such American classics as To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, and A Separate Peace. A brilliant evocation of a place, a heart-rending family story, a gripping and suspenseful mystery—with A Land More Kind than Home, a major American novelist enthusiastically announces his arrival.

 

About Wiley Cash

See more books from this Author
Wiley Cash is from western North Carolina. He has a Ph.D in English from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and teaches English at Bethany College. He lives with his wife in West Virginia. This is his first novel.
 
Published April 17, 2012 by William Morrow. 325 pages
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Apr 27 2014
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Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for A Land More Kind Than Home
All: 43 | Positive: 39 | Negative: 4

Kirkus

Excellent
Apr 03 2012

As lean and spare as a mountain ballad, Cash’s novel resonates perfectly, so much so that it could easily have been expanded to epic proportions. An evocative work about love, fate and redemption.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jan 16 2012

The languid atmosphere seduces, and Cash’s fine first effort pulls the reader into a shadowy, tormented world where wolves prowl in the guise of sheep.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Jan 16 2012

compelling, with an elegant structure and a keen eye for detail, matched with compassionate attention to character. The languid atmosphere seduces, and Cash’s fine first effort pulls the reader into a shadowy, tormented world

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by ManoflaBook.com on Jan 20 2013

A Land More Kind Than Home is a smooth, elegant, and enjoyable novel. The characters are vivid and interesting. Mr. Cash has fantastic talent which is sure to make him a rising star in the literary world and I am waiting to read more from his pen.

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Entertainment Weekly

Good
Reviewed by Thom Geier on Apr 27 2012

Cash uses well-placed flashbacks in A Land More Kind Than Home to flesh out his characters (though the shady preacher remains stubbornly one-dimensional) and to illuminate a familiar truth of Southern lit: Many are the ways that fathers fail their sons.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Steve Yarbrough on May 08 2012

compelling first novel... Cash adeptly captures the rhythms of Appalachian speech, narrating his atmospheric novel in the voices of three characters

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The Boston Globe

Above average
Reviewed by Joseph Peschel on May 05 2012

Despite the shortcomings, Cash is a promising author whose writing is at times resonant and convincing. And he’s an intriguing storyteller.

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Look At OKC

Excellent
Reviewed by Betty Lytle on Jun 03 2012

a chilling story that isn't easily forgotten... Cash has captured the rural southern dialect perfectly. It is an excellent novel, and I look forward to hearing more from this author.

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Boston.com

Below average
Reviewed by Joseph Peschel on May 05 2012

a remarkable tale that falters primarily because two of the narrators... prove less than credible as characters.

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Cleveland.com

Good
Reviewed by Donna Marchetti on Mar 01 2013

Evocative and quietly chilling, this novel of trust misplaced and love gone wrong is reason to hope for more from Wiley Cash.

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Times Dispatch

Good
Reviewed by Doug Childers on Apr 15 2012

"A Land More Kind Than Home" is a powerfully moving debut that reads a little as if Cormac McCarthy decided to rewrite Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird."

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The National

Excellent
Reviewed by Paul Muir on Jun 09 2012

Cash captures the nuances of Appalachian speech, giving his debut novel a chilling authenticity.

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Jacksonville.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth White on Apr 15 2012

spectacular debut novel... amazingly nuanced development of character... the descriptions of the lives and land are as colorfully painted and fully realized as it gets.

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Richmond Times-Dispatch

Excellent
Reviewed by Doug Childers on Apr 15 2012

riveting debut novel... powerfully moving... the experience... is hard to forget.

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Southern Lit Review

Good
Reviewed by PHILIP K. JASON on Jan 16 2013

Wiley Cash slowly but surely brings together the three narrative streams. Through his orchestration of the partial perspectives of his three main characters, the pieces of plot, information, truth, and falsehood coalesce. The pace is steady, the revelations come to characters and readers in flashes of painful insight.

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Access Atlanta

Excellent
Reviewed by Gina Webb on May 07 2012

Wiley Cash’s novel embeds a tender coming-of-age story within a suspense-filled thriller... well-defined, distinct voices and subtle, considered details on every page

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WNC WOMAN

Above average
Reviewed by Mary Ickes on Jun 04 2014

Stump’s defiant disobedience of his mother’s rule to never spy on people launches the plot and continues with Chambliss manipulating Adelaide, Jess, and Sheriff Barefield to a resolution that is probably the closest to hell on earth that a person can experience.

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Ploughshares Literary Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Claire Blechman on Apr 20 2012

a book you will be excited to read... Cash has a solid talent for the oft-neglected arts of tragedy and suspense... an auspicious start for a first novelist.

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Read North Carolina Novels

Excellent
Reviewed by Elizabeth Dubold on May 25 2012

excellent debut novel... Steeped in the history and flavor of the North Carolina mountains, fans of Charles Frazier will find this tale a fulfilling read.

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Luxury Reading

Good
Reviewed by Claudia Robinson on Feb 18 2013

A Land More Kind Than Home returns readers to a place and space in time where hard work, family and God were the mainstay of life, written so lushly, that even scent, seems to be conveyed at Cash’s hand.

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Jenn's Bookshelves

Good
Reviewed by Jenn on Apr 25 2012

a book I couldn’t put down...The characters will hold a lifelong position in my heart, their story continues to resonate within my soul, weeks after reading the book. Without a doubt, this book will top my list of favorite books of the year. Highly recommended.

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Booking Mama

Excellent
Reviewed by Julie P on Apr 25 2012

It is a beautifully written story with some memorable characters, and I am recommending it to everyone (and I mean everyone!) I know.

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Rhapsody in Books

Good
Reviewed by rhapsodyinbooks on Jan 25 2013

This striking novel is not easy to forget. The writing is exceptional, and the characters well-drawn.

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http://skrishnasbooks.com

Good
Reviewed by Swapna Krishna on Feb 28 2013

If you’re looking for a literary novel with threads of mystery, serious moral questions, and an incredible sense of place, this is a great choice.

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Leeswammes' Blog

Excellent
on Feb 17 2013

Well written, with a bit North Carolina flavor in the way the people talked. I liked the alternating of narrators, which meant that the reader saw the story from different viewpoints.

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Lit Stack

Good
Reviewed by Sharon Browning on Jan 31 2013

A Land More Kind Than Home is not a tale told straight on, but instead is full of memories and reminiscences that unfold like unconscious thought, and details that may not speak directly to the plot but create an indelible sense of place and time.

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Book Chatter

Below average
Reviewed by Ti on May 15 2013

I think the main problem I had with this story is that I felt as if I was reading the story from a distance. I never really felt as if I got to know any of the characters...What I liked though, and what I felt worked, were the alternating chapters. Had my brain been free to really focus on this book, I think I would have enjoyed it more...

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Literate Housewife

Good
Reviewed by Jennifer on Jun 26 2012

Wiley Cash’s debut novel is a fine example of excellent Southern fiction. His characters, authentic and rich, reside in a small world with its own darkness that entirely captured my imagination.

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You've GOTTA Read This

Excellent
Reviewed by Sandy on Apr 24 2012

...what a story. After I finished Chapter 1, I had to send out a tweet and just exclaim something (for the record, I think it was Holy Crap). Right out of the gate, you are blasted into a quagmire of corruption and heinousness. He doesn't mess around. And he drags you right along with him right up to the very end.

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MysteriesEtc

Good
Jun 15 2012

a glorious read... A beautifully written story by an amazing new storyteller that will haunt you for some time to come

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Lit and Life

Above average
Reviewed by Lisa on Jan 24 2013

Wiley Cash is right - you're book club should read this book. There is so much to discuss: love, guilt, justice, redemption, religion, loss.

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Linus's Blanket

Good
Reviewed by Nicole Bonia on Jan 22 2013

A Land More Kind Than Home has stayed with me. It’s a novel about many things, loneliness, religion and faith, small town life, and people who have been unable to escape their pasts and choices, Most surprisingly, and lastingly, it’s about forgiveness. I still marvel at the way Cash steered readers down that path.

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Lovely Treez Reads

Above average
on Jan 23 2012

If you enjoy well told stories with that languid, laconic vibe you find in the best Southern fiction, you will relish this gripping, poignant tale. Looking forward to hearing more from Madison County in Wiley Cash’s future novels.

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My Friend Amy

Below average
Reviewed by Amy on Feb 21 2013

...I didn't hate it or anything it just wasn't a book that intrigued me, or made me think about things differently or that got under my skin or whatever.

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My Bookshelf

Above average
Reviewed by Shirley on Feb 18 2013

I enjoyed this novel. I found it a bit slow going at first but once I sat down and was able to devote some undivided attention to it, it just flowed.

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Novel Heights

Good
on Mar 26 2012

The story is beautifully written, and Cash really captures the small town feel of this part of America, a place that feels as if time has passed it by.

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Book News and Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Tracy on Jul 24 2012

The lyrical prose is unpretentious, and the characters lovingly crafted.This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys the work of Tom Franklin and John Hart. This book offers plenty of food for thought and discussion...

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A Lovely Shore Breeze Blog

Good
Reviewed by Caite on Jun 08 2012

a very good book, with a very good setting, great characters and a compelling story that will draw you in and make you hang on until the very last page.

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Book Reviews by Elizabeth A. White

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth A. White on Apr 10 2012

A Land More Kind Than Home is a smashingly triumphant debut, one which will stay with you long after you’ve finished.

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Summer Reading Project

Good
Reviewed by Annie Smith on Jun 04 2014

This book is hypnotic. As I read it, I would stop to check the page numbers every now and then and would be surprised to find that I was 30, 50, 70 or more pages from the last point I checked. Cash captured the voices of three rural North Carolinians so completely that I could hear the characters speaking as I read their words...

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Notes of Life

Good
Reviewed by Nikki-ann on Mar 04 2012

A Land More Kind Than Home is Wiley Cash’s debut novel and a thoroughly good one at that. It is a gripping read and one that draws the reader in. Recommended!

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Phil Jason's Web Site

Good
on Jan 16 2013

Set in rural Madison County, North Carolina in the mid-1980s, this quietly gorgeous novel is most remarkable for its exquisitely rendered sense of place.

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The Literary Kitty Blog

Good
Feb 06 2012

One of the best things about Cash’s book is that he gives a real sense of who his characters are – everything is written that that southern way of speaking that brings the dusty, hot mountain town and its inhabitants to life.... gripping, tragic tale

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Reader Rating for A Land More Kind Than Home
78%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 541 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Terri McGinty 23 May 2013

Rated the book as 3.5 out of 5

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