Synopsis from Goodreads:
The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan 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 to be the equal of any man, overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving her husband’s life in the wilderness. Together this lord and lady 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 sets out to murder the son George fathered without her. Mother and child begin a struggle for their lives, and when Serena suspects George is protecting his illegitimate family, the Pembertons’ intense, passionate marriage starts to unravel as the story moves toward its shocking reckoning.
Rash’s masterful balance of violence and beauty yields a riveting novel that, at its core, tells of love both honored and betrayed.
I found Serena on a list of “books to read before the movie is released” earlier this year and the synopsis was really intriguing, as you can see above. In my opinion, this book is pretty intense. There is a good bit of murder and madness that builds and builds throughout the story–the more certain characters change, the more you want to know how the story ends. I am excited to see the movie adaptation when it comes out this fall and I think the story will translate well into film. Still, it didn’t live up to my expectations as a book. I gave it three stars on Goodreads.
Have you read Serena? What did you think?