The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan to create a timber empire. Although George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate child, Serena is new to the mountains—but she soon shows herself to be...more
i am alarmed that i only wrote a four-line review of this amazing book. now that i am starting to read the cove, i figure now is as good a time as any to remind this website just how good ron rash is, and how so far, serena is the best of them. (i am only on page 15 of the cove, so this could change)
whenever i try to hand-sell this at work, i will usually just say: "it is like macbeth in a logging community. with a greek chorus." whi...more
Bashing in a raccoon's skull with an axe...Starving a captive eagle to bend it to your will...Baiting a field with corn and apples so you can shoot twelve deer and a bear for sport, then just leave them all piled in the middle of the field to rot after you've killed them...Are you sickened yet? I found mys...more
Love to see the "power hungry female" fleshed out and OWNING it. Truly unlikeable character(s) in actions and deeds. Business partner not agree with your vision? Hunting accident. Disloyalty? Make an example out of him. The courageous and altruistic? SO DEAD. Strip and rape the land, too. Then move onto another country. Repeat.
Wow. Just wow.
She and her husband George Pemberton are Depression-era timber barons in North Carolina. We’re introduced to them...more
(That's not even a random photo that I found on the internet - my brother in law took that. That's...more
And I think I'm supposed to admire the main characters, but hate them at the same time since they're fairly heinous? But honestly, I felt nothing besides boredom for them. They were flat and uni...more
It's not that it isn't entertaining. I just couldn't really get myself to give two craps about any of the characters. And I couldn't suspend my disbelief enough to find any of it realistic. (I mean, seriously? T...more
On the heels of my previous read, a forever favourite,The Secret History, still occupying way too many rooms in my head, this one felt barren, almost raw, like no one threw a rug on the floor. It all happens hard and fast.
In 1929 newlyweds George and Serena travel from Boston to the North Carolina Mountains where they plan to harvest timber and create an empire. The terrain is relentless, the characters rough and tumble and t...more
Serena focuses mainly on the Pembertons - newlywed timber barons working t...more
There was absolutely no character development at all. Before he met Serena, George Pemberton was apparently a bit of a ladies man, however he was apparently completely enamored with Serena fr...more
The story begins with lumber baron George Pemberton arriving home with his mysterious new bride, Serena. It quickly becomes apparent that neither of these characters will be winning any humanitarian awards - ever! Pemberton is a swine. He is an individual who sees the beauty of a tr...more
Serena intrigued me because there were so many comments about the female protagonist that paint her as among the most evil characters in modern literature. I appreciate strong female characters so disliking Serena was...more
-Lady MacBeth from Macbeth. She was pretty wicked.
-That Medea chick was certainly no picnic either.
-Any female character in any Ayn Rand novel, specifically Dagney Taggart from Atlas Shrugged.
-Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca was a bad time too.
-(A personal favorite) Xenia from The Robber Bride - cuckoo!
Obviously there are others, and feel free to include them down in the comments. I'm just...more
Serena is the story of the Pembertons, a logging tycoon couple that comes home married from Boston in 1929, to a small town in North Carolina where Mr. Pemberton has already impregnated a teenager there. When she and h...more
So, whenever I love a book, I always enjoy reading the 1 and 2 star reviews. After all, not every book is for every person. Thank goodness, right? Life would be pretty boring if we all enjoyed/appreciated the same things for the same reasons.
And, honestly, if you are the type of reader who needs a "likeable" protagonist to root for, this isn't the book for you. If you crave tension only to see it resolved in a neat and tidy happy end...more
It is rare that a book physically affects me, but Serena did. As I rocketed towards the finale, my heart pumped faster and my palms started to sweat. Turning each page felt like the long and low creaking of a door opening in a horror film. There is a suffocating...more
Ron Rash, this one almost captured me. It is completely my fault I'm sure, but I half-expected Howard Roark to appear out of the shadow of the mountain like the elusive panther. When it didn't happen I was still fine because the backdrop (Cades Cove! Townsend is one of my dream places) was so prominent and there was an Ingledew and Appalachian...more
On the other hand, her husband, a much better d...more
Well, that was certainly dark.
It's an interesting story and well written, with some genuinely unlikeable characters.
The reason for 4 stars instead of 5 was because it took me a while to get into it. To begin with I struggled to remember which of the minor characters was which.
Definitely not a read to brighten your day. But, as GR reader Elizabeth said..."Wicked good read!" I couldn't put it any better myself.
Thank you Florence (Lefty) for recommending this author.