SERENA by Ron Rash
Publisher Ecco/Harper Collins, October 2008
The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton arrive from
Boston in the North Carolina mountains to create a timber empire. Although
George has already lived in the camp long enough to father an illegitimate
child, Serena is new to the mountains—but she soon shows herself the equal
of any worker, overseeing crews, hunting rattlesnakes, even saving her
husband’s life in the wilderness.
Together, this Lord and Lady Macbeth of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or
vanquish all who fall out of favor. Yet when Serena learns that she will
never bear a child, she vengefully sets out to kill the son George had
without her. Mother and child begin a struggle for their lives, and when
Serena suspects George is protecting his illegitimate family, the
Pemberton’s intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel as the story
moves toward its shocking reckoning.
Ron Rash’s new novel Serena catapults him to the front ranks of the best
American novelists. This novel will make a wonderful movie, and the brave
actress who plays Serena is a shoe-in for an Academy Award nomination.
-- Pat Conroy
Rash is a storyteller of the highest rank and Serena confirms this from the
opening sentence to the final page. An epic achievement."
-- Jeffrey Lent, author of In The Fall
"An Appalachian retelling of Macbeth, a thriller, a word-perfect evocation
of an era and a people, a grim chapter in the history of conservation: if
SERENA doesn't finally win Ron Rash the overdue attention of the national
literary (and cinematic) establishments, I can't imagine what they're
holding out for."
-- Arthur Phillips, author of Prague, The Egyptologist, Angelica
"A gorgeous, brutal writer."
-- Richard Price, best selling author of Lush Life