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The year is 1929, and newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton travel from Boston to the North Carolina mountains where they plan 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 man, overseeing crews, hunting rattle-snakes, even saving her husband's life in the wilderness. Together this lord and lady of the woodlands ruthlessly kill or vanquish all who fall out of favor. Yet when Serena learns that she will never bear a child, she sets out to murder the son George fathered 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 reckoning.

Rash's masterful balance of violence and beauty yields a riveting novel that, at its core, tells of love both honored and betrayed.

Book Reviews

Average rating
3.6 / 5
Good read.
March 15th, 2015
Good story. Well written. I was hoping the story would be told more through Serena's eyes as I thought she was the most interesting character.
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1 review
January 7th, 2015
Good read , the movie will be hard pressed to match this well written book, to cover the inner feelings of each person,
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1 review
September 19th, 2014
Hard to get into, didn't really like the book
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1 review
June 1st, 2014
I don't know why but I expected more. I guess I'd recommend it.
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1 review
Not bad
April 3rd, 2014
I found this book holding more of my attention for the accounts of working conditions in this type of environment and the day to day living conditions in real Tennessee in the depression. It made me feel grateful for modern luxury. The characters I wasn't as devoted to as I thought I would be. So so
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1 review

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