Wednesday, April 16, 2014

How Far Will You Go To Get What You Want? Serena: A Review

Our Literary Junkies read for March was Serena by Ron Rash and I am just now getting around to this review. I need to step it up big time with the reading. You know, I cut my Goodreads goal for the year in half from last year because I've been at an all-time low for books. Luckily, I've already read half the amount of books in four months than I read in all of 2013. I see progress there. Ok, Serena, let's get to it.

What Goodreads Says:
Source
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.

What I Say:
I was looking forward to Serena big time. I thought it was going to be this really twisted story with a psychopath as it's main character. Well, I wasn't wrong on one of the main characters being completely crazy but it wasn't really twisted to me. Serena is a very calculated woman who knows exactly what she wants and she will attain it by any means necessary. Her precision in executing everything so perfectly hardly make her crazy. She's just a straight-up terrible person without an ounce of remorse or regret in her body. I'm even convinced that she killed her own family before she was even 18.

Source
Serena is all about extremes. How far will you go do get what you want? How far will you go to save your life? How far will you go to forget the mess that has become your life? Serena goes so far as to kill anyone that gets in her way. Rachel, the mother of Pemberton's son, moves to the complete opposite end of the country without knowing anyone to protect her life and her son's life. Pemberton sinks so far into the bottle that he loses control of himself and his senses because he can't stand the woman he's married to even though he finds himself completely overcome by her. The men that work a the camp turn their heads at everything they notice the Pemberton's do and they turn their head away from the destruction of the land all to keep a job.

Serena is about desperation and lust and greed. Serena and Pemberton don't love each other, they lust for each other. Love doesn't cause you to do terrible things for your partner. Serena doesn't care about the earth or where their lumber is going. She only cares about the money that will fill her pockets, same with Pemberton. All of their investors? Their exactly the same. They will turn their heads away from the murders they know are more than accidents because all they want is more money. Any journey for lust or greed is run by desperation. The need to always come out ahead and be the best.

Serena is many things. It's a novel full of intricate details and lengthy dialogue that you sometimes think is going nowhere. But it really shows the dark side of humanity. I think that's what makes it so interesting. You cannot possibly think it will take you to the places that it does. How could a grown woman be so threatened by a child, so much so that she tries to have it murdered? Serena may not be the twisted novel I was thinking it would be, but it is definitely a journey through the immense darkness that can exists in a human being.

5 comments:

  1. This should be really interesting! It reminds me of the story of Abraham and Sara in the Bible. Sara can't bear children so Abraham has a child with their servant. She becomes jealous and orders Abraham to banish/kill his illegitimate son.

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  2. Not the type of book that I usually pick up, but I'm intrigued now. I need to branch out a bit when it comes to reading so I may see if I can track this one down at the library.

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  3. I couldn't get past the first few chapters of this book. I thought it was really dry and the details really wore me down, but I know some people really enjoy that.

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  4. Ha! I bet you're right and she did kill her own family!

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  5. This one's been on my to-read list for a while....I'm glad to hear it's intriguing! Thanks for the review. :)

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