The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton arrive from Boston in the North Carolina mountains to build a timber empire. Serena is new to the mountains - but she soon proves herself the equal of any worker, overseeing crews, hunting rattlesnakes, even saving her husband's life in the wilderness. She soon learns that she will never bear a child. Serena's discovery will set in motion a course of events that will change the lives of everyone in this remote and unforgiving landscape. As the Pembertons' intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel, this riveting story of love, passion and revenge moves towards its shocking reckoning.
It's too hypnotic to break away from. The final chapter is as flawless and captivating as anything I've read this year.' Washington Post 'With bone-chilling aplomb, linguistic grace and the piercing fatalism of an Appalachian ballad, Ron Rash lets the Pembertons' new union generate ripple after ripple of astonishment.' New York Times 'Rash's evocative rendering of the blighted landscape and the tough characters who inhabit it recalls both John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy.' New Yorker 'A spectacular book...The novel serves up plenty of satisfaction for those readers who seek, above all else, a good story.' Guardian
Ron Rash is a multi-award-winning poet, short story writer and novelist. A PEN/Faulkner finalist for Serena, he is also a recipient of the O.Henry Prize and winner of the 2011 Frank O'Connor Award for Burning Bright, a collection of short stories. His other work includes the novels, One Foot in Eden and The Cove. He teaches at Western Carolina University and lives in the Appalachian Mountains, South Carolina. Ron Rash has long been a critically acclaimed writer but his novel, Serena, catapulted him to new heights garnering rave reviews across Australia and becoming a New York Times bestseller. A feature film is being made with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence to star.