No tree left behind
Ron Rash is at the top of his game with Serena, his fourth novel, and 10th book. Rash’s storytelling ability ranks with the best around, and his history as a poet shows in every sentence.
Set at the time of the Great Depression, Serena looks at the
conservation efforts instituted by Teddy Roosevelt, and how various
businesspeople reacted. Specifically, the book gives us George and
Serena Pemberton, who have arrived in North Carolina to develop a
Rash infuses the beautiful Appalachian forests with violent acts.
Some are intentional—a knife fight that turns into a gutting, a few
nasty rattlesnake bites. Some are accidental, such as a bear hunt gone
awry and a hand chopped off. Either way, the violence merges seamlessly
into a memorable story.
Serena Pemberton, with her insatiable thirst for power and wealth,
gives Rash a great tract to explore love, lust, greed, loyalty and
betrayal. He takes us on the journey with gusto.