A Land More Kind Than Home, the title drawn from Thomas Wolfe's You Can't Go Home Again is set in Marshall, North Carolina where evil is allowed to disguise as faith.
Narrated alternately by Adelaide Lyle, an aged local midwife, the taciturn County Sheriff Clem Barefield, and young Jesse Hall, our 9 year-old protagonist, as they are drawn into the tragedy that involves Jesse's mute and autistic older brother.
"As lean and spare as a mountain ballad, Wiley Cash's (author website) debut novel resonates perfectly, so much so that it could easily have been expanded to epic proportions. An evocative work about love, fate and redemption". THIS TITLE HAS JUST BEEN PICKED BY LIBRARY JOURNAL AS ONE OF 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2012 !!! Worth a look if you didn't catch it the first time around...
Tom Wright sweeps us up in a tale of lost innocence in his debut What Dies in Summer *
Teenager James Beaudry "Biscuit" is taken in by his grandmother when home life becomes dangerous with his "Uncle" Jack. With his cousin LA (Lee Ann) they look forward to a bucolic Texas summer, until they come across the body of a girl brutally raped and murdered. Jim's recurring vision of the dead girl and the ensuring police investigation put the cousins in harm's way.
"Wright, a practicing psychologist, expertly weaves together a literary tapestry of self-discovery, brutal sadistic violence, custodial battles, and tender, burgeoning sexuality, leaving readers spellbound by a story that delivers on several levels."
Worthy additions to the Southern Gothic genre, and great YA crossovers, they will appeal to those who liked Stephen Wetta's If Jack's in Love, and Tom Franklin's Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter.
* = starred review