Margaret Allen's Reviews > Serena

Serena by Ron Rash
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's review
Dec 28, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction

This is a great new book by Ron Rash, who teaches at Western Carolina University. It is set in a lumber camp in the mountains of North Carolina during the Great Depression. The title character, Serena Pemberton, has just joined her husband at the camp as the book begins. Although most of the manager's wives stay away from the rough-and-tumble, backwoods camp, Serena quickly asserts her leadership.

The opening chapter reveals that Serena's husband has impregnated one of the local camp workers, setting up a conflict that must eventually be resolved.

Serena is a character of supreme ambition who will not let anything, or anyone, stand in her way. The true extent of her evil nature is revealed as the book's plot develops.

The author has spent a lot of effort researching the book's setting. As a result, these characters from an almost forgotten time seem real. The only fault I would mention is that the book has so many minor characters it is occasionally difficult to keep track of them all. This is a real page turner.

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