A stunning debut reminiscent of the beloved novels of John Hart and Tom Franklin, A Land More Kind Than Home is a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small western North Carolina townFor a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when your mother catches you spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is enormously protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can't help sneaking a look at something he's not supposed to?an act that will have catastrophic repercussions, shattering both his world and Jess's. It's a wrenching event that thrusts Jess into an adulthood for which he's not prepared. While there is much about the world that still confuses him, he now knows that a new understanding can bring not only a growing danger and evil?but also the possibility of freedom and deliverance as well.Told by three resonant and evocative characters?Jess; Adelaide Lyle, the town midwife and moral conscience; and Clem Barefield, a sheriff with his own painful past?A Land More Kind Than Home is a haunting tale of courage in the face of cruelty and the power of love to overcome the darkness that lives in us all. These are masterful portrayals, written with assurance and truth, and they show us the extraordinary promise of this remarkable first novel.
The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The customers are few, and they never seem to buy anything—instead, they “check out” large, obscure volumes from strange corners of the store. Suspicious, Clay engineers an analysis of the clientele’s behavior, seeking help from his variously talented friends. But when they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, they discover the bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls. Rendered with irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan'sMr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave.
A Winner of the Alex Award, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction, named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, Los Angeles Times, and San Francisco Chronicle