Tag: lumbermen

Serena by Ron Rash

December 16th, 2013 — 11:44am

YZtuBqEcvRyCsIziXQ3_dHZ66bMt3fK5nDYK73B0DYqLQrLVyBDiE3kvyBFfzKyJBJg5Bw=s85Serena by Ron Rash– In a recent book review of the best seller Gone Girl , I noted that despite that book being a very exciting mystery, there was a paucity of information about the background and psychological make up of the two protagonists. Similarly, Serena offers us two very strong characters, Serena and her husband Pemberton, with an interesting but certainly not a page turning, edge of your seat mystery. There is no significant in-depth backstory that really allows us to understand the characters and why they are who they are and how they got there. This certainly does not have to be the mission of every novel but without it we have to evaluate what have we been given? In this case it is an insight into the lives of the mostly men and some women who cut, sawed and hacked their way across the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee and surrounding areas in the late 1920s and early 30s’ while the country was in a depression. We came to appreciate the hardship and, at times, danger to life and limb that these lumbermen experienced. We get a glimpse at the movement to develop a national park system and the conflict with the entrepreneurs who were buying up the land to take the trees and minerals while essentially leaving it bare. We also meet a unique married couple who are not only the bosses of a company that is engaged in these practices but who also embody a mean spirited perhaps “evil” nature. They will think nothing of endangering their workers, manipulating and lying to potential business partners and doing whatever has to be done to achieve their ends. This includes a willingness to murder anyone. Thus the book in one sense is a morality play with the workers talking among themselves acting like a Greek chorus highlighting the code of ethics or rather lack of them which are being acted out. Serena, herself emerges as a person who burnt her bridges behind her (although we don’t quite really understand what they were made of) and would do anything to be the timber baroness of the US and then of Brazil. Her singlemindedness becomes frightening and is made of the stuff that would make her an ideal role for any great actress to undertake when Serena , the movie,is ultimately made.

Comment » | FG - Fiction General

Back to top