“This Dark Road to Mercy is a terrific, moving and propulsive novel: Harper Lee by way of Elmore Leonard."
- Jess Walter, New York Times best-selling author of Beautiful Ruins and We Live in Water
“Wiley Cash knows how to grab his reader on page one and hang on for dear life as he presents brilliant portraits of desperate people caught up in an underworld where danger, damage, drugs, and fractured families are all clasped in the tight fist of poverty.”
- Lee Smith, New York Times best-selling author of Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger and On Agate Hill
“On the heels of his wildly successful debut, Wiley Cash has written another winner. It's a time capsule and at times an edgy thriller, but at its fine emotional center it’s all about what it means to be a father."
- Jill McCorkle, New York Times best-selling author of Life After Life and Going Away Shoes
"A first novel that sings with talent. It will knock your socks off."
- Clyde Edgerton
author of The Night Train
"Wiley Cash is a talented and disciplined young writer, and his first novel proves it. I think this could be the beginning of a long, fruitful career."
- Ernest J. Gaines
author of A Lesson Before Dying
"A riveting story: the writing is bold, daring, graceful, and engrossing."
- Bobbie Ann Mason
author of The Girl in the Blue Beret
"I didn’t sleep well after I finished it because I kept thinking, All childhoods are not the same. Cruelty and innocence dwell together and always will. I can just imagine the intense work -- and the love -- that has gone into this."
- Gail Godwin
author of Unfinished Desires
"I try to state the truth and dislike flinging superlatives about with mad abandon, but I have been so deeply impressed that only superlatives can convey the tenor of my thought: it is one of the most powerful novels I have ever read."
- Fred Chappell
author of Look Back All the Green Valley
"Cinematic and symphonic: this compelling story is revealed in a sequence of voices that are as pitch-perfect as they are irresistible. This is a wonderfully impressive debut: tender, muscled and unforgettable."
- Rikki Ducornet
author of Netsuke
"Whew! Wiley Cash is the real deal. His first novel is dense with stories intersecting like the branches in a laurel hell."
- Nancy Peacock
author of A Home Across the Road
This Dark Road to Mercy, forthcoming Jan. 28, 2014 font>
When their mother dies unexpectedly, twelve-year-old Easter and her six-year-old sister Ruby are shuffled into the foster care system in Gastonia, North Carolina, a town not far from the Appalachian mountains. But just as they settle into their new life, their errant father, Wade, an ex-minor league baseball player whom they haven’t seen in years, suddenly appears and wants to spend more time with them. Unfortunately, Wade has signed away legal rights to his daughters, and the only way he can get Easter and Ruby back is to steal them away in the middle of the night.
Brady Weller, the girls' court-appointed guardian, begins looking for Wade, and he quickly turns up unsettling information linking Wade to a recent armored car heist, one with a whopping $14.5 million missing.
But Brady Weller isn’t the only one hunting the desperate father. Robert Pruitt, a shady and mercurial man nursing a years-old vendetta, is also determined to find Wade and claim his due.
Narrated by Easter, Weller, and Pruitt in alternating voices that are at once captivating and heartbreaking, This Dark Road to Mercy is a story about the emotional pull of family and the primal desire to outrun a past that refuses to let go.
A Land More Kind Than Home font>
New York Times Bestseller - New York Times Notable Book of 2012 - Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance's Best Fiction of 2012 - Appalachian Writers' Association's Book of the Year - Crime Writers' Associations' Debut Novel of 2012 - PEN Robert W. Bingham Award Finalist - Strand Magazine Critics Award Finalist for Debut of 2012 - Indies Choice Finalist for Debut of 2012 - Library Journal Top Ten Book of 2012 - Kirkus Reviews Best of 2012 - - Indie Next Pick - SIBA Okra Pick - Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection
Families are supposed to shield children from the horrors of the world, but one Sunday nine-year-old Jess Hall watches as his autistic brother is called into a little church in the mountains of North Carolina. What happens next forces Jess to question everything he once believed. Clem Barefield, the local sheriff, arrives to find a group of charismatic believers who are unwilling to utter a word about the things Jess has seen. At the center of the mystery is Carson Chambliss, a snake handling ex-convict turned preacher whose past is just as mysterious as the power he claims to possess.
Told by three resonant and evocative characters—Jess; Adelaide Lyle, the town midwife and moral conscience; and Clem Barefield, A Land More Kind than Home is a literary thriller, thick with characters connected by faith, infidelity, addiction, and a sense of hope that is as tragic as it is unforgettable. These are masterful portrayals, written with assurance and truth, and they show us the extraordinary promise of this remarkable first novel. font>