Let me just preface my review by telling you that the only reason I read A Land More Kind Than Home, was because it was chosen by the book club I just joined. Crazy, I know considering the stack of unread books by my bedside, those on my Kindle and the mile-long list I keep adding to. I joined because I thought it would be a great opportunity to read books I ordinarily wouldn’t read. A Land More Kind Than Home definitely qualifies in that regard. Anything to do with religious fanaticism drives me absolutely crazy. Two pages in I almost bailed. But I had to know what came next. The writing is compelling, strong, and lyrical, though sometimes the descriptions are a little too long-winded.
This is a story of the power of faith, community responsibility, family secrets, marriage and infidelity, told in three voices: Jess, a sweet innocent ten year old, who wants to protect his mute brother, Stump; Adelaide, the town midwife who tries to protect the children from Pastor Chambliss, a man who cares for nothing but his own pleasures, who uses the ignorance of his flock to get what he wants, and Clem, the town sheriff who has his own burdens to bear. Despite the efforts of Jess and the old lady to protect Stump and the love of his father and mother, things go awry for the boy.