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Serena by Ron Rash

 

Set in North Carolina in the late 1920s-1930s, this novel, Serena, captured my attention from the first page. The main characters of this story are Serena and George, a young couple from Boston that purchase land in the Appalachian mountains. Their land is rich with many natural resources and they plan to 'get rich' off logging the trees by starting a timber company. These young lovers are unique enough characters on their own, but what really makes this story engaging is the other characters that also have interests in this fertile land. Through these people's eyes you will discover the variety of perspectives regarding this land’s use. There are poor, desperate-for-work laborers that live in shacks on the timber company campground. They risk injury and death, daily, sawing down trees in order to feed their families. Politicians visit from Washington, on the brink of America's environmental movement, with intentions to buy up land and create a national parks system. A young mother harvests ginger to sell for folk medicine, while working in the timber company's camp kitchen. A traveling circus crew comes through to enliven the laborers. Which is where an entertaining competition escalates to fatality. From rattlesnake-hunting-eagles to cross-country train chases- this book will keep you occupied, but you’ve been warned the topics aren’t light. This is a well-written book that you’ll want to talk about with friends and family. Let the adventures begin.

Oh and this novel has already been made into a movie. It's set to release sometime this year... Read it now before it hits the big screen!

-Maggie

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