2014 – Book #85


The eighty-fifth book I read in 2014 was Serena by Ron Rash. I finished this book on 9/19/14. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. I decided to read this book because the movie adaptation is coming out at the end of this year (Nov 27) starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. I just love everything Jennifer Lawrence is in, she is an amazing actress and she plays her parts very well. She plays the crazy parts especially well, and I know she’s just going to do an amazing job with the role of Serena.

This book is about George and Serena Pemberton, a newlywed couple who plan to run a timber empire together in North Carolina. George was at the camp long enough before he met Serena to father an illegitimate child. Serena and George share an intense relationship that leaves no room for anyone else, and George, while acknowledging the child is his, does not do anything to care for the mother or the child, and in fact does the opposite in killing the mother’s father. When Serena loses her own baby and learns she will never again be able to bear children, she decides that she will kill the illegitimate child and the mother for being able to give her husband what she can not.

Serena appears to have been unraveling up to this point, but when she learns that George might be protecting his son and the boy’s mother, George and Serena’s intense and passionate marriage begins to crumble and becomes intensely deadly. This book is set in 1929 in the North Carolina mountains. The description of the work done by the timber company along with their day to day lives adds a sufficiently depressing backdrop to the dark place that is Serena’s mind. There is no room for any errors or doubt in her world, she lives in a universe of black and white, no grey area allowed.

Overall this was a very dark novel. There were parts I found depressing, and to be honest within the first 10 pages there’s a description of someone getting gutted in a knife fight that is just gruesome. Other than that though, it was an extremely interesting book and I can’t wait to see Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Serena. She plays such a great crazy person and as I was reading the novel I could just see her in the role. I also really enjoyed the discussion of life during the Depression and the timber worker’s point of view as well as Rachel’s (George’s illegitimate son’s mother). I would definitely recommend this novel to someone who is looking for a good Depression-era novel or to anyone who is planning to see the movie when it comes out!!

Link to movie’s IMDB website (trailer can be found here): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1247690/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Link to Wikipedia website on author: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Rash

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Serena-Novel-P-S-Ron-Rash/dp/0061470848/ref=sr_1_1?


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