Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Seeing What You're Not Supposed To See

Children are extremely curious about the world around them.  If an adult tells them, "You're not supposed to go there," guess what, they are immediately heading to the forbidden area. 

Wiley Cash's extraordinary debut novel A Land More Kind Than Home shows how a child's curiosity leads to disaster.  Young Jess Hall and his mute brother, Christopher, like spying on people.  They watch their father working in the barn.  They watch their mother hanging laundry.  But when Christopher sees something he shouldn't, and gets caught, the consequences throw the whole family into a dire situation.

I really like how Cash chose to tell this story.  He alternates first person narrators between Jess, local midwife Adelaide, and the sherrif Clem.  They each bring their own particular knowledge about the main characters.  But the story also involves a local preacher who uses less than conventional methods of getting locals involved in his church.  This is the character you will want to read about in this debut novel.  I had the immediate feeling that there was more to him than what the locals knew about, but his story is sure to astound. 

Two questions come out of this story:  What would you do if you saw something you weren't supposed to see and got caught in the act?  More importantly, if you were on the other end and wanted to keep it a secret, how far would you go to make sure it never gets out?  Find out how Jess, Adelaide and Clem deal with these questions when A Land More Kind Than Home is released later this month!

No comments: