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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton arrive in the North Carolina mountains to create a timber empire, vowing to let no one stand in their way, especially those newly rallying around Teddy Roosevelt's nascent environmental movement. Yet when Serena begins to suspect that George's allegiances may lie elsewhere, she unleashes her full fury on the young mountain woman who bore his illegitimate child the year before. Rash's masterful balance of violence and beauty yields a powerfully riveting story that, at its core, tells of love both honored and betrayed.
©2008 Ron Rash; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kevin on 03-04-09

Great Listen

I loved listening to this book. The narrator's change in voice for characters made them come alive for me and I realized about halfway through that reading the book would not have been nearly as entertaining. I particularly liked the "Greek Chorus" voices as they pulled much of the story together. Serena is an evil character--that's evident early on, but the ending was still a surprise.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Marci on 08-21-13

Subtle Genius

Through much of this book, I was prepared to hate it. The character of Serena walked the edge of a stereotypical strong, yet witchy woman. I wanted so much to be surprised and to have Serena be different, to have her be complex and multi-layered. I wanted to feel conflicted about her. All of my wishes were granted and much more by Ron Rash.
This book seems like a simple story, but it's not. There are multiple stories and themes and social commentary and character developments all going on at the same time. I'll be fascinated to see how it is played out in a movie because the complexity of these characters can be tough to portray in 2 hours.
Buy this book and listen to it, and when you do, pay special attention to the group of guys that I deemed "the clowns" in my mind. Rash uses them like the "chorus" from theater of old (except much more entertaining). Rash moves the story along and brings comedic relief with a group of workers who are funny and smart and are on the outside looking in--they are the guys who REALLY know what's going on. They are originally led by the camp's preacher. It took me a few chapters to really appreciate them and I wish I'd been astute enough to realize how important they were to the story from the beginning.
I gave the performance only 4 stars because the narrator didn't become as invisible as he could have. I was impressed at his voice of Serena, but his general narration was overly dramatic and he struggled in switching between accents.
I recommend.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Grandma Julie on 06-09-16

Serena

I just cohld not gdt into this book st all I founf thr naration slow i just kept falling asleep will be returning this book

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By Patricia Grundy on 09-25-15

I wanted it to be better

This is one of the best narrations I've listened to so far. Phil Gigante is superb! I don't think I'd have enjoyed this as much had it not been for him.
I had high hopes for the story but it fell a little short. It is worth sticking with it to the end but I wished it had hurried up and gotten to the point a little faster.

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Customer Reviews

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By Melanie McClure on 01-07-15

Get another reader

This story was excellent. The reader was TERRIBLE. He managed to make the female protagonists sound breathy and pathetic. Totally spoiled the narrative.

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By Lee on 12-28-14

Not bad, but not great

I found it quite difficult to stay focused. The characters are many and confusing, at times, knowing who is who. I did like the way Serena and Pemberton were portrayed.
Listened to the end, but could have easily not have finished.

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