Canaan’s Land

Lee Ann Sontheimer

Canaan “Cane” Moss is a simple man working the Missouri farm passed down to him through generations.  Alone for some time, he’s got his eye on Kaitlin Koch, the new reporter in town. Question is, how to let her know he’s interested without feeling like a fool? Just when it looks like he might get to know her, Cane’s world is turned upside down after he’s arrested for growing and possessing marijuana.  The locals and the feds have discovered a large pot field growing on a disused part of his land.  To his surprise, when the whole town turns on him, Kaitlin is the only person who believes Cane is innocent.  Joining forces, Cane and Kaitlin race to find the real culprits before Cane ends up in prison and losing his farm.


The story gives the reader a good sense of how central his farmland is to Canaan.  It’s his heart and soul.  The author does a good job, too, of evoking the feel and spirit of small-town Missouri and the struggles of working the land.  At times, she gives the small town a wonderfully claustrophobic, menacing feel. Kaitlin, though a likeable character, occasionally seems too sweet and compliant for a hard-hitting reporter, and the idea that Cane doesn’t know about a large pot field on his land, a walkable distance from his house, strains plausibility.  The writing is solidly folksy, fitting well with the story, though the author is perhaps overly fond of long, descriptive paragraphs.  Overall, “Canaan’s Land” is an enjoyable read with clever twists that leave the reader with a juicy “Ah ha!” feeling.


Marc Joseph