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A Novel

by Ron Rash

Serena by Ron Rash X
Serena by Ron Rash
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There are currently 42 member reviews
for Serena
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  • Wendy F. (Kalamazoo, MI)
    A book filled with the lust for power. Serena Pemberton and her husband set out to take the lumber business by storm and they don't seem to care how they do this. This book really digs into the psyches of two power hungry individuals who have little care for others. This is a good read but I do wish that we would have found more out about Serena's childhood and what made her what she grew up to be.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jan M. (Jenks, OK)
    Serena by Ron Rash
    As a somewhat “over the hill” reader, I enjoyed Serena. I have some letters written by my grandfather describing his life in a logging camp during the Depression. Ron Rash’s description of the harshness of the times was much the same as those described by my Grandfather and it made me sympathize with the loggers and dislike the Pemberton’s even more. Serena’s greed and ruthlessness was the focus of the story, but the lives of her victims were what made the book such a page-turner. The irony in the final pages when the pearl-handled knife that we read about early in the book, showed up in the ending of the story was a brilliant twist to a gruesome tale.

    I have recommended this book to our book club. I think it will generate some lively discussion. I’m sure there will be some varied opinions about Galloway’s complete subservience to Serena. What made him a tool for her unconscionable behavior puzzled me throughout the book. I thought the author was successful in creating fictional tale that, was also a glimpse into the lives and times of those who lived during a very difficult period in our nation.
  • 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.
  • Teresa R. (Evansville, IN)
    Ruthless People
    The first 100 pages of the book were very slow for me. I learned about the lumber business in 1929 which was educational, though not necessarily entertaining. After that, though, the action quickly picks up. Ron Rash is a great writer and a master of storytelling. This book is a tribute to greed, ruthlessness, and betrayal. It is beautifully written with incredible characters. I loved this story! Would have given it a 5 had it not been for the slow beginning. Read it- it is well worth the effort!


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