Kyler Campbell's Reviews > Serena

Serena by Ron Rash
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Jun 22, 12


Rash has combined his unique and heartfelt view of the Appalachian wilderness and paired it against a larger than life, disturbingly vicious female character. The book shows what great devastation and ecological impact that unchecked consumption has on the environment and the ruthless attitude of business gone wild.
The story is a slow-burn narrative, not quick and suspenseful, but contemplative. It takes its time in developing each character and showing not only how they react to each other, but how they react to the natural environment (i.e. Serena's brash consumption against Rachel's holistic utilization). Rash uses excellent dialogue and minimal flashbacks to keep the story moving all while keeping the tension and the undercurrent of suspicion, all the way up to the story's wonderful climax.
Though not fast-paced or a cliff-hanger mystery story, Serena takes its time in developing well-thought out characters and infusing an authentic Appalachian culture and attitude into a sweeping landscape and narrative. Rash's writing is clear and honest, choosing to forgo frilly diction for powerful images.
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