Rated of 5
by 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!
Rated of 5
by 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.
Rated of 5
by Lucy B. (Urbana, Ohio) Serena's revenge
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.
Rated of 5
by 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.
Rated of 5
by Leann A. (Springfield, IL) Serena by Ron Rash
The quality of the writing is the only thing that saved this book for me. This story in a less capable writer’s hands would have been wholly unreadable for me. The main characters were cartoonish in their villainy and invincibility. Normally I am more than willing to suspend my disbelief when reading, especially for a writer of this caliber, but it helps if the characters are at least remotely sympathetic. Serena is loathsome in her complete lack of humanity and her husband is not much better.
If the body count hadn’t been so high and come so easily, if Mr. Rash had delved a little deeper into what makes Serena tick or if he hadn’t succumbed to such convenient plot devices as the one-dimensional, slavishly devoted hit man and his clairvoyant mother, I could have better enjoyed the beautifully written scenic descriptions and the unflinching documentation of the history of the logging industry and the devastation it wrought on the land and the people who worked it.
Rated of 5
by Gunta K. (Whitehall, NY) A woman, tough, beautiful, cold and calculating
"Serena" by Ron Bash is a page turner. We first meet Serena as she gets off the train from Boston in the company of her new husband, George Pemberton. On the platform awaiting their arrival is a man with his pregnant daughter at his side. Gossip has it the young girl's child is George Pemberton's. Ensues a violent scene between one of Pemberton's hired men and the girl's father. At the end of this violent scene Serena informs the pregnant girl that from now on, she, Serena, will be the mother of any and all children George sires. This moment sets the pace for the unfolding story.
Life and work in a logging camp in North Carolina in year 1929 is hard and dangerous. The day by day work of loggers is fraught by constant threat of death from falling trees, catapulting frozen tree limbs in winter, runaway saws and a marauding panther. Nature in that vast wilderness is unforgiving. Serena rides among the loggers, shares meals, is constantly vigilant over their mistakes, has no mercy for anyone. A man hurt in a logging accident is sent home without pay.
She also relentlessly hounds the mother of her husband's illegitimate child, to the point where the young mother opts to leave North Carolina for fear of harm coming to her son from Serena.
Life in a logging camp of those days is described as incredibly full of squalor, hunger for whole families unable to buy food at the company store. Daily life of young girls working in the kitchens is full of fear since they are daily subjected to the whims of carousing men.
This book is mesmerizing in its subject and the manner in which this tale is told.
I recommend this tome because one is never bored throughout its 371 pages.
Judge rules unused Borders gift cards to be worthless(May 23 2013) Borders owes nothing to holders of roughly $210.5 million of gift cards that had not been used by the time the bookstore chain shut down, a Manhattan federal...