By Thom Geier
April 27, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

A Land More Kind Than Home

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Cash serves up his absorbing Southern-fried tale potluck-style, with three narrators: Clem Barefield, a rural North Carolina sheriff investigating the mysterious death of a mentally disabled boy; the victim’s 9-year-old brother, Jess Hall, who doesn’t quite comprehend all the grown-up things he’s observed; and Adelaide Lyle, an elder at the church where the tragedy occurred. 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. A-

A Land More Kind Than Home

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