Monday, June 29, 2015

Serena - Teaser Tuesday and First Chapter / First Paragraph

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     Ron Rash tells the story of George and Serena Pemberton, lumber moguls in the mountains of North Carolina during the Great Depression. The dangerous conditions under which trees were harvested, the devastation of the environment, and the absolute power that the lumber barons held over their workers are all described in vivid and realistic detail. The Pembertons and their obsessive relationship made for a fascinating story. 
     The Pembertons' ability to literally get away with murder and their corruption of government officials would have been hard to believe if I hadn't seen a recent piece on the History Channel about John D. Rockefeller's massacre of striking coal miners in Ludlow, Colorado -- something that actually happened.* 
     This story definitely held my interest, and I enjoyed the glimpse into the Depression era. My only real complaint is that Serena's viciousness was never explained to my satisfaction. I would like to have known what caused her to be so ambitious and so ruthless.

First Paragraph:
     When Pemberton returned to the North Carolina mountains after three months in Boston settling his father's estate, among those waiting on the train platform was a young woman pregnant with Pemberton's child. She was accompanied by her father, who carried beneath his shabby frock coat a bowie knife sharpened with great attentiveness earlier that morning so it would plunge as deep as possible into Pemberton's heart.

Teaser (from Page 103 - trade paperback edition):
     Serena loosed the leather laces and removed the eagle's hood, then freed the leash from the bracelets. She raised her right arm. As if performing some violent salute, Serena thrust her forearm and the eagle upward. 

Genre: Historical Fiction / Adventure
Length: 371 Pages 
Amazon Link: Serena
More From This Author: Ron Rash's Books

Synopsis:
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 rattlesnakes, 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.
*More info about the Ludlow, Colorado, massacre HERE.

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Miz B of A Daily Rhythm. Post two sentences from somewhere in a book you're reading. No spoilers, please!




First Chapter/First Paragraph/Tuesday Intros is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea. To participate, share the first paragraph (or a few) from a book you're reading or thinking about reading soon.

29 comments:

Suzie Quint said...

The opening is certainly attention grabbing. Sounds like the book is full of strong characters.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

WOW ---definitely curious for more. What the heck is going on there?

Beth F said...

I love Ron Rash!!!!

grammajudyb said...

It certainly catches my attention. I will be adding this one to my TBR list.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Now you really have my attention! I especially loved the part with the hidden bowie knife...LOL

Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “CATCHING AIR”

Literary Feline said...

It's such an interesting time period. Serena sounds like such an interesting character.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing the things that happened that we think were only fiction.

My TT today: http://wp.me/pZnGI-nN

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I was tempted to include more because what happens next is completely unexpected.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Both Serena and George are strong, but Serena is the stronger of the two. I almost always enjoy books with significant female characters.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

This is my first book by this author, but I'll look for others.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I agree. Seems like I've only read stories that show the people who suffered during the Depression. This book was about those who took advantage of the situation and actually benefited.

JC Jones said...

Sounds very intense
Not my kind of book though.

My ugly creature is a dog.

Monica's Bookish Life said...

Quite an opening! I'd have to read more. I'm not familiar with Ron Rash, but I do like reading about this time period. Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Greg said...

Wow- that is intense. It's hard to believe the things that happened even a hundred years ago- things were so different in a lot of ways.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

I'm fascinated by this time period too. This was quite different from other books I've read that are set in The Depression.

Trish said...

what?! this has my jaw hanging up! what a great sounding read!
trish - tales from trish

Nise' said...

I like the sound of this one.

Laura said...

It sounds interesting. And George doesn't sound like a good role model.

Sandra Nachlinger said...

That's putting it mildly! George and Serena are NOT nice people.

Joseph said...

That resonates. I used to have a trained Red Tail Hawk, and I could see/feel this scene vividly. Her name was Galadriel btw.

The Candid Cover YA book blogger said...

This book sounds really interesting. I'm enjoying historical fiction right now. Great teaser! Thanks for visiting my blog :)

Sandra Nachlinger said...

Serena's training of the eagle was fascinating to me. The lumberjacks were already in awe of her but when she trained the eagle, they were blown away.

Anonymous said...

Great teaser, that opening paragraph really hooked me!

Have a lovely week.

Eustacia Tan said...

For a minute, I saw Pemberly!

But this sounds like a good historical fiction - especially since it's accurate(:

Topazshell said...

I think the man loves his daughter.

JLS Hall said...

What a fascinating story! I'm definitely hooked now - thanks for the teaser/intro.

Sharons Book Nook! said...

Sounds like an interesting read.

Leovi - La Fotografía Efectista Abstracta said...

Interesting book!

Nicole MissDotHacker said...

I have always been meaning to read more stories set in the Depression I will have to give this one a try.
I nominate you for The Blogger's Recognition Award!
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