Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Land More Kind Than Home

Photo by Anna Reavis

“It’s a good thing to see that people can heal after they’ve been broken, that they can change and become something different from what they were before.”
Adelaide Lyle in A Land More Kind Than Home
My goodness these last couple books have made me miss my dead people.  And now A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash has made me remember things about my brother and his death that I thought I had lost from my memory.  I used to try to avoid anything that would make me remember those years of my life, but lately it seems I am finding some comfort in remembering them.  I hope that’s because I am finally finding healing and peace, and I hope it’s healthy and positive, even if the memories aren’t.


Cash’s descriptive language is so real and evocative of places and times I’ve inhabited that I often felt as if I were there with the characters, especially in the chapter about Jess being with Stump’s body right after the accident.  Being physically confronted with death in a person you’ve known only as very much alive is the most bizarre, incredible experience.  You just keep watching and waiting for the suspension of breath to end and the chest to rise and fall again and the breath to flow in and out again.  And then you begin to believe that you are in some weird time stall where everything is paused.  After the initial shock, you want to hold on to the grief and on to it and on to it because that keeps you closer to the time when that person was alive.  Something about the immediacy of the grief, something about being near it, makes you halfway believe you can reverse what has happened.  Because I know these things, I found the sheriff’s story, as well as Jess’s story,  to be valid and exact.  There is some comfort in being known and in knowing that others have felt as you have.


Given my normal penchant for happy books, I guess it seems strange that I loved this one.  I think it was because it was so real and so true and spoke to and of things I have known first hand.  It is beautifully written, and I am excited to see where Wiley Cash goes from here.

Our Dirty Glass Castles

photo by Amy Brandon   "Why, Mr Stevens, why, why, why do you always have to pretend?" ~Miss Kenton in The Remains of the...