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“A Land More Kind Than Home,” by Wiley Cash

Phil Jason Reviews Books

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. Mr. Cash not only gives us every kind of sensory news about the community in which he locates his story, but he also paints the cultural environment – the atmospherics – in memorable, thematically enhancing brushstrokes. The major theme is the interaction of religiosity and cruel, cunning evil. Though the flavor of its manifestation is penetratingly Southern, Wiley Cash’s novel leaps beyond its place and time to a profound universality. WileyCashCover

The author builds his novel by employing three narrators; that is, three perspectives and three distinct voices processing events that bring their lives into contact. Adelaide (“Addie”) Lyle is a woman well into her eighties who knows the community inside out. As the town midwife, she has had a professional intimacy with almost every family, and…

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