A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Told by three different characters – the elderly local midwife and champion of children; the sheriff and Jess, the brother of the dead mute boy – we get a picture of life gone wrong in a small North Carolina mountain town. When a charismatic preacher comes to town and sets up church Jess’s mom is swept away by her faith. The local midwife doesn’t trust the new preacher and establishes a Sunday school at her house to keep the kids away from the preacher’s way of worship which includes the handing of poisonous snakes. Then one day the preacher and Jess’s mom get it in their heads to cure his mute brother. That’s when everything goes wrong.
This is a well written story, and while I found the book sad, I’ve also found that it is staying with me and I am awaiting the author’s next book.