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on May 25, 2015
This book has a good storyline. It takes awhile too get into the story but once you are there it's a good read. The beginning has quite a few inconsistencies and was difficult to start. The story opens with an agent securing property for, what I believe was a reservoir (set in the present.) The storyline is the back story of the people who once lived on the property. Their story was compelling, but the beginning was never tied back into the book.
3 helpful votes
4 helpful votes
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on June 23, 2016
As usual, Ron Rash's writing makes me not want to put the book down to find out what "happens next". He captures so well, "a sense of place...and time", with this story about an area in the rural NC mountains near the end of the First World War. Sad, believable...and dark with a tragic ending. This is the second Rash book I've read (the first was a collection of short stories, "Something Rich and Strange", that I would highly recommend) and I look forward to reading more of his work. I've just started "Serena"....and it grabbed my attention in the first chapter! Without question, Ron Rash is a great storyteller!
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on December 30, 2016
I love Southern literature. By turns it can be nostalgic, sweet,romantic, brooding, dark.But for me,southern literature always has it's complicated political and social history at it's core. The Cove is no different.
The setting is North Carolina just before the close of WWI. A young woman, shunned by the locals as a witch befriends a drifter she happens upon in the cove she calls home. As the friendship develops, you can see how this cannot possibly end well, but you are routing for a happy conclusion.
The characters range from the stereotypical,some who would be truly comedic if they weren't so pathetic, to the enlightened and accepting. Laurel could easily have been portrayed as a passionate and fiery soul.Instead we find a young woman beat down and seemingly accepting of her lot in life. But the hope hasn't quite been extinguished.
And the author truly has a gift for extraordinary description. I could smell the cove as well as I could see it in my mind's eye. To live the story with the characters is always the mark of a 5 star book. Excellent!
1 helpful vote
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on June 7, 2016
This was a very well told story. I enjoyed learning some things about the WW 1 time period. There was a lot of information about some of the superstitious beliefs of the time and area the story is set in. There was some implied sexual activity but no graphic descriptions. I would rather have imagined a different ending to the story but the author wrote a realistic ending. I would have liked to learn more about the characters and found myself thinking about them often in the days after I finished reading the book. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story.
1 helpful vote
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on May 5, 2015
The writing style of this book is reminiscent, in my opinion, of Anita Shreve's work. Both authors place a large emphasis on the scenery around the characters instead of the characters themselves. The ending of this book left me with a "wait, what?" feeling. I'm still confused about the purpose of the ship that Walter was initially on...maybe I missed something.
1 helpful vote
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on February 22, 2016
The quality of the writing is amazing, page after page. The language and the portrayal of feelings are so perfect - as though it is autobiographical.
The story is written with each segment coming from the point of view of a different character. Each part of the story is very personal, and is largely about the feelings of each character, rather than actions or discussions. The story brought me in to the inside of it, so I was feeling the feelings of the character who was central at the moment, and looking at life from the point of view of that character. The geographic space, and the time period of the story are very small, and so the story goes far deeper than other stories. It is a dark story; it is a sad tale of needlessly limited lives, with tragic endings. It is a very personal insight into the lives and tribulations of a sad and lonely people living in a self-defeating culture.
1 helpful vote
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on October 9, 2017
The issues of this story are no so different than those of today: prejudice against foreigners and those considered "different." My ancestry is part German and the portrayal of the anti-German animus of those days made me wonder if my family had ever been victims of it. This is a book worth reading and thinking about for years to come.
1 helpful vote
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on January 16, 2016
A friend told me to read anything by Ron Rash and I'd like it. This was my first book by him and it was good. His writing is so vivid that you can see and almost feel like you are there. He pulls you in, making you think you know how everything will turn out yet you also are not very certain and a little concerned. Quite a storyteller . . .
1 helpful vote
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on November 13, 2016
Once again Ron Rash has done an excellent job of taking us back to a time in the life of Appalachian mountain people to experience what it was like to live off the land and endure the hardships of prejudice in a society whose vision was very narrow. He sets his story near the end of the first World War which influences all that happens to the characters. In spite of the narrow mindedness of many of the characters, the goodness of several individuals make the story real. With Rash's unique skill we are led to accept the inevitable fate of the people in this life experience.
1 helpful vote
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on May 19, 2017
Ron Rash is a vivid writer to me. I can actually see what he describes. I love that as a reading novice. I started with Silas House and found Ron Rash. They both write similarly in the way that their stories take place in rural and back woods mountain simpler times. I love it! Rash has had at least 2 of his books made into movies that I know of. I still read the book because it's good writing. I have read all of his novels.
1 helpful vote
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