Serena: A Novel


By Ron Rash

The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton arrive in North Carolina 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 worker, overseeing crews, hunting rattlesnakes, even saving her husband’s life in the wilderness.

Together Serena and George ruthlessly kill or vanquish all who fall out of their favor. But when Serena learns that she will never bear a child, she sets out on her own to kill the son George had 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 finale.

About the Author

Ron Rash is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Cove, in addition to three other prizewinning novels: One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River, and The World Made Straight; four collections of poems; and four collections of stories, among them Something Rich and Strange, Nothing Gold Can Stay, Burning Bright, which won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, he teaches at Western Carolina University.

Related Events

Urban Forest Project

Tree Talk

Thursday, June 25, 2015, 7:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Tree Talk is an introduction to the significance of urban forests and has a goal to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy trees. This event will begin with a brief presentation on the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks’ Urban Forest Project, becoming a Friends’ “Citizen Forester,” and how trees shape our community. The event will end with a guided tour of trees found in our community.

raptor experience

The Raptor Experience

Saturday, August 8, 2015, 1:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Have you seen an owl up close or wondered what makes a raptor such a flawless hunter? Lake Milton Raptor Education Center will bring several live birds of prey, including an eagle, hawk, falcon, and owl and their handlers. Learn how these fine-tuned hunters use their skills to rule the sky. Discover the birds of prey that live around you and how to live alongside them in harmony.

Rob Burg

Green Gold!

Monday, August 10, 2015, 7:00 pm
Main Library – 111 Library St NE

Logging of the White Pine was Michigan’s wealthiest and most important industry in the 19th century. Michigan’s White Pine helped build the transcontinental railroad, towns and farms in the Midwest, rebuild Chicago after the Great Fire, and was also shipped to Europe. Learn from lumber historian Rob Burg about the importance of the White Pine lumber industry, the work of the “Shantyboys,” life in the logging camps, and how Michigan was affected by the lumber industry.

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