- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 25 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 9, 2008
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B001I0YJXA
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Serena Audiobook – Unabridged
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I'm catching up on House of Cards and this book reminded me of it in some ways.
I liked the characters from the beginning but it didnt take me long to start rooting for Rachel (and Jacob).
The ending was completely predictable...and I was vastly surprised that her husband wasnt able to interpret the signs.
I could have lived without the "coda" as it just left too many questions and didnt actually tie up loose ends.
I would suggest that the author has a love of two specific words used over and over throughout the book: coupled and bespoke. And I'm pretty sure he wasnt even using bespoke properly...some could argue he was; I argue he wasnt.
Regardless, the book was an interesting read.
At the very least one learns about the very dangerous business of felling trees, not to mention, greed, betrayal, revenge, and "love?". Serena and George had a riveting attraction and partnership, but love? Hard to say... highly recommended...
George Pemberton, young scion of a wealthy Boston family, is running a lumber company in Appalachia in 1929. He is a Hemingway-type protagonist: he wants to work hard, play hard, make a fortune, and shoot a mountain lion. When he brings home his new bride, Serena, at first he does not realize that he has indeed bagged his mountain lion in the form of this blonde heiress to a Colorado lumber empire. Serena is lithe, graceful, beautiful, intelligent, and completely ruthless and remorseless about getting what she wants. The body count begins on the first page, and Serena continues to dispatch everyone who stands in her way. The lumber workers provide delightful Greek chorus interludes, in which they speculate on who is going to be the die next, and add a bit of (dark) comic relief. (My favorite paraphrased: He should have known people such as them couldn’t be killed with fire, you have to drive a stake through their hearts) Serena galloping around on her white Arabian horse with her rattlesnake-killing Berkut eagle provides enough foreboding symbolism to make any Roman quake in his sandals.
The book chronicles Serena's marriage to Pemberton, who she always calls by his last name. Pemberton is a lumber baron who lets nothing stand in the way of his logging. Serena comes from someplace out west where she learned the lumber business. She finds Pemberton, marries him and becomes his business partner. Her past is obscure but past doesn't matter for Serena. She observes of her father that he is of no consequence because he is dead now.
One of my favorite parts of the novel was a literary device. The logging camp has a group of loggers who regularly take breaks from their work and discuss religion, politics and the goings on with Serena and Pemberton. They make up a depression age Greek chorus to comment upon the protagonists as the plot unfolds and it is one of the more entertaining aspects of the book.
The starkness of this simple plot contrasts with the rich descriptions of life and death in the logging camps during the depression. Serena and Pemberton battle the elements, their partners, and an incipient conservationist movement along the way. Morality falls before the power of madness, making for dark and entertaining read right up to the end.
Most recent customer reviews
Well developed characters. Very intense reading.