Serena is someone I won't soon forget. Not too many times you find in fiction a woman that is more ruthless and cold-blooded than just about everybody.
I enjoyed the setting - 1920's Appalachia. I especially liked his plot device of using the workers conversation to advance the story. I got a good feel for the speaking patterns and characters, and it was humorous too.
Being the cynical person that I am - I suspect this is how many of the old money families got their money. Many people through history seemed to me to have helped their "American Dream" become real with a healthy dose of pushing others down while they ruthlessly climbed up.
Not that that's changed much today - just perhaps instead of with shotguns and henchmen it's done with PACs and lawyers and lobbyists.
But I digress.