Amy S's Reviews > Serena

Serena by Ron Rash
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Jan 03, 2013

really liked it

No one is more shocked than me that I am giving this four stars. I hated the first part of the book due to the fact that the characters are so despicable. Set in the late 1920s/early 1930s, the Pembertons are a newly married couple on their way to establishing a timber empire in Western North Carolina. At the same time the government is in a race to acquire as much land as possible to set up the Great Smoky Mountains national park. (Maybe I should have capitalized all that but I'm in my car -- not driving -- so forgive me please). History nerds have much to adore. The Pembertons rub shoulders with many historical figures of the day, like the vanderbilts. The book highlights the often horrific living conditions for the loggers who are desperate for any job during the depression. The main character, Serena will do anything, and I mean anything, to keep her empire growing.

To get back to my original point, I probably would have stopped reading at about 100 pages but I was in a remote cabin for a week w no other reading material so there you go. As much as I despised the characters in the beginning, I realized I was firmly entrenched in the second half, unable to put the dang thing down. I was completely caught up, and the writing is pretty fabulous. Serena really is a psychopath and watching the author lay the groundwork for it is pretty gripping. I read another review where the writer said, "it's kind of like Macbeth in a logging community complete w a Greek chorus." I could agree with that. I understand they are going to make a movie out of it.

Writing is great, I couldn't stop reading it. Characters are horrible people but remember, it's a round world.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 3, 2013 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Melissa Oh I have to read this now!


message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy S I have no idea what you'll think of it! Seriously! You will probably be cursing me at first so make sure it's a library book ;)


Melissa It's so not like you! Confession - I have it on my shelf. :)


message 4: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy S Ha! Awesome! And yes, you are right!!


message 5: by Hannah (last edited May 28, 2015 07:10AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hannah Totally agree with your review Amy. The beginning was slow, but once it got going, it was hard to put down!


message 6: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy S Yes! And I am sad to hear the movie is horrible and almost nothing like the book. Pretty sure it went straight to Netflix.


Melissa I loved this...I wouldn't have read it without your review. And yes, the movie bombed...I don't even think it was released.


message 8: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy S Melissa if you go to imdb.com you will see pictures and trailers for it. And horrible, horrible reviews by critics and people who are frustrated that it bears almost no resemblance to the book or original characters. They apparently are just a lovesick couple.


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