I put off writing this post and put it off and put it off ’cause I hate being negative about any book and had hoped to think of something, anything, positive I could say about Serena.
But in the end, I found I couldn’t. Maybe I shouldn’t have posted anything, maybe I should’ve just let well enough alone and tossed the book when I was through with it, but I found I couldn’t do that either.
So I decided, since this book sucks so bad, to just spew out the whole story including the ending so that you won’t be tempted to read it, saving your life a precious couple of days that you can better use elsewhere.
You can thank me later.
Newlyweds Serena and George Pemberton arrive at his logging camp in depression era NC after being attacked at the train station by the father of George’s 15yr old? 14yr old? mistress because he has a problem with George impregnating his daughter and casting her aside like a soiled condom. George kills him in the resulting knife fight, setting the tone for the whole book.
George and Serena step right into the role of lord and lady of the logging camp, perfect in every way. Each day, astride her all-white Arabian horse and with her hooded, hunting falcon on her arm, Serena rides up the mountain to where the loggers are working and tells them how to do their jobs. I’m sure there’s some kind of imagery there that was lost on me but really? she should have just flown in on a spaceship.
Together, the two of them, with the help of her devoted henchman Galloway, begin to systematically work the loggers to death, or simply kill them and anyone else who stands in the way of their completing logging operations before the federal government takes the mountain from them, all the while busily coupling, (the author’s word, not mine) trying to produce an heir. Busy, busy people.
The story climaxes when Serena, who we’re told always sleeps in the nude, finds out that she, as a result of her miscarriage, can never have children. Ever vindictive, she has the doctor killed and then sics Galloway on George’s illegitimate son and ex-mistress. George, fearing he might have made a mistake hooking up with Serena, has the sheriff help them escape so Serena has Galloway kill the sheriff and her husband instead. Are we seeing a pattern?
And the fun doesn’t stop there.
The widow Serena, after cutting down all the trees in NC in record time, moves on to South America with Galloway in tow and becomes a hugely successful mahogany baroness, employing the same strong-arm savagery used in NC. Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
All is happiness and ruthlessness until one night, decades later, her dead husband’s grown up illegitimate son, who has a bone to pick why?, finds out where she is and travels from San Francisco to Brazil, breaks into her home and, stepping over the sleeping Galloway, kills her while she’s sleeps, still in the nude. I’m sure this was more imagery I missed, or something.
Whatever it was, at least it was the end.