Gail L. (Cypress, TX)
Serena - A Fabulous Read
This book has all the elements that I enjoy in a work of fiction. It is a unique, colorful, story that is believably set in the mountains surrounding Ashville, North Carolina during the Great Depression. It is filled with interesting, well-developed characters and page-turning suspense.
The ending is brilliantly executed.
I heartily recommend this book for book clubs and lovers of well-written, literary historical fiction.
Kimberly H. (Stamford, CT)
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Beautifully written, a story of murderous greed set against a backdrop of timber farms in the Smoky Mountains, in what is now a national park. I highly recommend ths novel- it was hard to put down.
Rosemary T. (San Antonio, TX)
Serena is a riveting, albeit very dark, novel about one couple's goal to rule the lumber industry at any cost. Set during the depression the reader gets a glimpse of the degree men were willing to go to have a job. Even though the novel centers around Serena, she is the one character I felt I never really got to know. There are so many unanswered questions that still haunt me. Even though I was disturbed by many scenes in the book, I could not put it down. This was definitely a love-hate read for me.
Marjorie H. (Bedford, TX)
Dark and Light
Few authors have the ability to put evil on paper but Ron Rash has accomplished just that. This taut, dark story puts faces on evil in the persons of husband and wife, Serena and Pemberton. In this compelling read you are reluctantly, yet curiously, pulled into their aura. With great skill, Ron Rash writes of the forces of good and evil - light and dark and keeps forcing the reader to recognize the destructive forces at work. And not just human destruction, but the destruction of acres and acres of timberland that serves as a backdrop to further the ambitious desires of these two people. To them, life is disposable at any cost and lumber more valuable than gold. Serena is capable of murder without a blink of an eye - as long as it serves her malicious need.
This book is sometimes hard to read - but I always came back to it - and so will you. Brilliantly done!
Megan B. (Ypsilanti, MI)
Serena is a compelling novel about the power of a determined woman. It's an interesting read and one in which the reader is able to see how often people turn a blind eye to their loved one's actions. The novel is well-written and the characters are developed well over the course of the novel.
Catie T. (Aurora, CO)
Serena by Ron Rash
Serena takes place during the Depression in the western mountains of North Carolina. Serena and George Pemberton are newlyweds obsessed with each other and with creating a lumber dynasty. Rachel is a young, poor country girl who was seduced by George before he went to Boston and met Serena. What follows is a story of greed, selfishness, and destruction. Excellent writing. My only complaint: I felt the book was not long enough and detailed enough to do justice to the huge storyline and the many colorful characters; therefore, it was good, not great.
Patricia L. (Seward, AK)
The Depression is looming as rich Mr. Pemberton travels to his North Carolina lumber camp with his new bride, Serena. Both are fully aware that upon arrival they will encounter the father of a young, sixteen year old who is carrying Pemberton's child. A fight ensues after which the young girl is not only unwed but an orphan. The remaining 350 pages of Serena are as predictable as the first ten. All attempts at creating believable characters and situations are half-hearted and one-sided. Serena is a mundane book that could have been better.