Monday, July 14, 2014

Serena Book/Movie Review

Rating: 4

Hi everyone!  I thought Serena was a very great read.  Ron Rash is a great storyteller.  He has an extensive vocabulary relating to the novels era and I found I did have to look up certain words because I was unfamiliar with the terminology.  You don't really use "jodhpurs" in your daily conversations nor "chifferobe" for that matter.

Fancy pantsy jodhpurs!

Chifferobe: attached mini closet and dresseh
Serena is one crazy, power hungry, manipulative, dominating female villain and she owned every page mentioned.  She is the only one in her family not to die from sickness and I can't say that it was the will to live that kept her alive.  She is just out to conquer anyone and anything.  I think she does love her husband, but I think she loves what power they have over others more.  When she feels her husband is distancing himself, she has her "henchman" deal with him.  She lives off the land and is very involved in their lumber business, but she never gets her hands "dirty" when it comes to murder.  She doesn't care who she has to take out to get what she wants.  Rash doesn't focus much on physical description of his characters, but what he does give is enough that we can truly visualize them in our mind.  Serena is not a knock down beauty, but has something to her.  She doesn't come across as girly but does have a woman's touch to her earthy appearance and attire.

George, her husband, didn't come across as powerful as his wife.  I think what he had going for him was some compassion.  Something Serena completely and utterly lacked.  Unfortunately that compassion got his can kicked in the end.

The best part for me was the very end of the book.  Many times Rash shared George's slight obsession with the physical similarities of him as a child and the child he fathered with Rachel.  As I read the last few pages all I could think was that had to be his son.  It had to and he had come back for that wicked witch of lumber yard!!!!  No names were used, but it all made sense.  Maybe I am wrong, but I love that it was left to me to figure out.

I would definitely recommend this book, not just for its story, but the history of our early lumberjacks and what their lives were like.  It was incredibly dangerous and men were dying left and right.

The film comes out this year and I am looking forward to it considering Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper are the leads.  Now as much as I love them, I will admit that the few set pics I have seen make me a little wary.  jennifer looks all dolled up and at no point in the book was she that glamorous.  I saw her more like Iggy from Fried Green Tomatoes.  I hope I'm not disappointed.  I get frustrated when a book strays significantly from content.  And with that, I would like to add, I don't think audiences will be disappointed with the acting from our actors.

Love you Jennifer, but I still don't see Serena wearing make up.
Ok, a bit more believable.  


  1. Hi LB. It's been awhile since I've been here but u are going strong with keeping us all up on good books and films here. U get a Hi 5!!!!!!

    Wow! U gave it a 4? It must be good. What other books got a 4. Now this has inspired me to check out the archives. Anyway, Serena was published in 1953 so we are dealing with vocabulary from the 50's. LOVE IT This should be fun!!!! But Jodhpurs are still called that today. Still I'm sure I will Google when reading. Hahaha! But ITA I hate when films stray far from the book especially when it comes to hair, make-up and costumes. It's just not right. It really changes the authenticity of the character and really impacts the integrity of the story etc...It should be illegal.

  2. Ok! I just read the synopsis of the book. It takes place in 1929 in North Carolina? Hmm already I see your point LB about Serena's wearing make-up. Well let me read it and get back to u later next week. I just got the book from the library today.

  3. So what did you think of the characters? What do feel is Serena's theme for life? What did you think of the ending?

    1. I finished reading Serena and was blown away by the ending. But I sorta expected the ending given how outta control Pemberton and Serena became toward anyone they felt threaten by. Serena was a hard character to like given her grudges and serial killer tendencies. What did I think of Serena's theme for life? Hmm! I say it would have to be "Kill or be killed."

  4. I thought Pemberton was a royal jerk. Especially the way he killed Rachel's father and then left Rachel to raise his child alone. Do u think he was intimidated by Serena and wanted to impress her by killing Rachel's father and then leaving her with nothing?

  5. I feel Pemberton was manipulated into his relationship with Serena. She was good at that kind of thing. I think there was some intimidation, considering he hid the truth about taking a picture of his son for himself and giving Rachel money.