A Land More Kind Than Home Discussion Questions

Instructor: Shanna Fox

Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.

'A Land More Kind Than Home' is a sordid tale of deceit, murder, and fanaticism that plagues a small community in the 1980s. These discussion questions will help you guide your high school students through the novel's characters, theme, and plot.

A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash

In the novel A Land More Kind Than Home, three narrators tell the complex details of a town's history, a charismatic and deceitful church leader, and the ensuing death of some town residents. These discussion questions can help you guide your high school students through the novel's multiple points of view, as well as the complex themes and gripping plot. You may want to engage students in these discussion questions in a whole class setting. Alternatively, you can provide the list of questions to student teams. One summative assessment option is to ask students to respond in writing to one or more of the questions.

  • Note: These questions are intended for use after students have read the novel.

Questions about Point of View

  • This novel is told from three different perspectives. Explain how each perspective helps the reader understand the setting, characters, and events of the novel.
  • If one point of view was removed, what changes would need to be made to fully tell the story of this town? For example, if Adelaide's perspective were not a part of the novel, what would change about the story? How could the author make up for this missing information?

Questions about Characters

Adelaide Lyle

  • What makes Adelaide Lyle's perspective unique?
  • Why does Adelaide retell the townspeople's history along with present-day events?
  • What is Adelaide's personal experience with Carson Chambliss?

Jess Hall

  • Why is Jess Hall's perspective necessary to fully grasp the themes and events of this novel?
  • How does Jess Hall see Carson Chambliss? How does his viewpoint change throughout the novel?
  • How does Jess's perspective of his brother, Stump, and his mother, Julie enrich the reader's understanding of novel events?

Sheriff Clem Barefield

  • What insights does Sheriff Clem Barefield share that shed light on Carson Chambliss and his past?
  • How does Clem's unique perspective on the town's past help the reader understand the novel's events?
  • How do Clem and his wife handle the death of their son? How does Clem handle killing Ben Hall?

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