Susan F. (Rabun Gap, GA)
Another Wonderful Read by Ron Rash
An excellent book and another wonderful read by Ron Rash. I was hooked from the first page with the colorful description of life in an early 20th Century North Carolina lumber camp, with characters larger than life. All of the elements are there of greed, corruption, murder and mayhem all in the name of power for the Pembertons, owners of the camp. Watch out if you cross them!
Serena Pemberton is a true Lady Macbeth, complete with a rattlesnake killing eagle. Although the Pembertons, Serena and George, control the novel's pace and story, I was impressed by the strength of Rachel, young mother of George's illegitimate son, in her struggle for survival. I highly recommend this fast paced, "can't put it down", book by Ron Rash.
Lee M. (Creve Coeur, Missouri)
Slowly, like a hurricane brewing in the Atlantic, Rash methodically creates a tale of a logging empire in North Carolina. As the storm builds you meet two unforgettable characters, Serena and Rachel. When the winds reach gale force, get ready for the unforgettable ending!
Elise B. (Macedonia, OH)
Not Black and White
In the book Serena, the lines of good and evil are blurred. The logging camps destroy the earth, but provide employment to the local people; however, as the National Park fights to preserve the land, they ruthlessly take people's homes from them in the process. Good people are pushed into performing/contemplating immoral acts while cruel/corrupt characters perform a few surprising acts of kindness. Serena is one of those books that you can't put down and when you're not reading it, you're thinking about it!
Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)
Vivid Language, Interesting Characters
The vivid language and interesting characters make this a fast moving drama. Serena grabs a hold of the reader's attention from her first introduction, and her greed and ruthlessness are balanced by Rachel's sweetness.
The author uses beautiful phrasing, and wonderful descriptions. He has developed a taut drama that builds to a speeding climax.
There is a lot of information about the logging business, and this is countered with information about the environmental movement which brings in a good counter balancing perspective.
I enjoyed the book and found it to be thought provoking. I still will find myself thinking about the characters, and wondering what made Serena tick.
All in all, a good read.
Anna S. (Auburn, AL)
Unbridled greed and ambition
Serena,the title character of this gripping novel, is the complete sociopath: attractive, intelligent, charming when she chooses to be, and utterly without conscience. She and her almost-equally sociopathic husband ruthlessly cut down everything, be it trees or people, in their quest to "cut down every tree on earth". They are the perfect match until he, in a moment of compassion,attempts to help someone she has marked for elimination.
For me the weakest part of this otherwise excellent novel was the ending which was a bit too predictable.
Lucy B. (Urbana, Ohio)
The writer was very descriptive with his words and I could visualize the story vividly. Oh Serena! What a bad girl you were. Nobody was safe if you had a grudge. I particularly liked the setting for the story in North Carolina. I have been to Asheville and the mountains and it is a lovely place. I tried to visualize that area as as it would have been back in the early days the story was projected. The author included some history into the story and that was interesting to me. Even though the story was gruesome, I enjoyed reading it.
Anna R. (Oak Ridge, TN)
Quite a Read
Don't you love a book that grabs you from page one and doesn't let go until the very end? Wow, that is the type of book Ron Rash has written..
Serena is a ruthless woman who goes to any lengths to get what she wants. If something or someone gets in her way, watch out.
The book was especially interesting to me because I live about an hours drive from the Great Smoky Mountains. To read about the lumber company stripping the land and the steps taken to claim the land for the park was fascinating.
I haven't read any books by Ron Rash before but I will now. This is an amazing read. I read it in two afternoons.