February 20, 2010


Serena: A Novel Serena: A Novel by Ron Rash

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The book conveyed a lot of emotion that I associate with the big business monopolies of the 20s. And oh the simmering angst I feel lurking. Or is it the hint of that dang cat always there just beyond your field of vision?

I really wanted to like Serena Pemberton - I thought she'd have a lot to offer. Desire to be seen as an equal in a male-dominant microsociety, feminine when required, and really in love with her husband. She failed me in all accounts.

I'd like to think that she got what she deserved, but I think she ended up bringing everyone down to her level and destroyed all that was good. Can you say evil incarnate? She couldn't even do it on her own - she was above that. She had to have someone else do it for her. Was she really above the law? In command of funds and all the right people? Don't know, but I found nothing revering about the woman.

So - how about the comparisons: 1) Destruction. It was emotional, environmental, and moral. It followed the Pembertons and their logging operation. 2) Snakes. Slithering, unsuspecting, and gutless. Serena had men and beast (I'm talking about that eagle) eating out of her palm, and she had them all hunting for snakes. The snakes went about their business until that eagle (or its one-handed Serena-worshipper) swooped in with the talon to rip out their inards. 3) Fear. Whether of a cat, a murderer, or the potential for job loss, everyone felt it. Serena manipulated that fear to her twisted liking.

Not a woman I'd want to meet on a moonless night.

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