Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Quick Mention: Wiley Cash, A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME

As a YA ("young adult") writer, I'm intrigued by the observation that child narrators of mysteries and thrillers are, by definition, "unreliable" -- because they don't know enough to interpret what they see. We as adult readers bring the other pieces to the puzzle and put the answers together.

A newspaper review a week or so ago decided me: I bought a copy of the debut literary thriller by Wiley Cash, A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME. The title is framed in the book's epigraph from Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again. And the most compelling of the book's three narrators is a boy named Jess Hall, growing up curious in a small western North Carolina town where the grown-ups are doing things he can't understand.

The first half of the book gave me a new understanding of "tragic." But at the same time, Jess had just enough hope and love to keep me from walking away from him and his story. The second half kept me with one hand on the book, no matter what else I was supposed to be doing. It meant a very late night -- and worth every lost moment of sleep.

Sometimes love hurts, even as it makes the hurt worthwhile. Cash's debut book captures all of that, and it's no surprise that Clyde Edgerton, Ernest J. Gaines, and Gail Godwin are among the authors who've blurbed the book.

Best news of the day: Cash's second book is already scheduled for publication in 2014. Author website: http://www.wileycash.com.

1 comment:

Suzy Hillard said...

Thanks for the mention - this has been on my wish list at the library for a while (in audio). I'm eager to check it out.