Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Cove by Ron Rash

 This one's been on my To Be Read list ever since it came out. I'm a serious fan of Ron Rash's work and have said so here, again and again --  THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT and  SERENA. for example. (SERENA, by the way, is being made into a movie with HUNGER GAMES star Jennifer Lawrence in the title role. There's glory for you!)
What's more, I was a fellow faculty member with Ron last summer at WILDACRES
(and will be again this summer) and can report that, not only is he an amazing writer but he's also a Really Nice Guy who's not above donning a coonskin hat to participate in a silly 
THE COVE  takes place during World War I and is set in right here in Madison County, NC (the same place I call Marshall County in my books)in one of those deep dark hollers where secrets just naturally hide. Laurel Shelton and her brother live there, shunned by the folk of nearby Mars Hill who believe that Laurel is a witch. Laurel is desperately lonely and one day in the woods, she discovers a stranger playing a silver flute. . .

The story unfolds with the quiet inevitability of a mountain ballad. Rash recognizes and make full use of the melodious mountain talk and he brings the sensibilities of a poet to his descriptions.

THE COVE is a simpler tale than SERENA, but every bit as powerful. It made me think, too, of Charles Frazier's COLD MOUNTAIN -- another novel I loved.

I'm reluctant to say more than that I highly recommend this gem-like, rather brief (255 pages) novel -- I think the story is best experienced without too much foreknowledge.   But if you want to know more, here's a  NY Times review that, while not exactly a spoiler, may give a little more information that is quite necessary. Be warned.

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Pat in east TN said...

I read this book shortly after it came out and think Mr. Rash did an amazing job again! I couldn't read this book fast enough, but managed too pace myself.

I'm looking forward to seeing Serena, the movie, in the future.

Elora said...

I'm on my way...heading for the letter R in the Greenbrier Library's fiction section...having exhausted the contents of anything worthwhile on Netflix! Ready for a BUNCH of good reads!

Thank you, Vicki!


NCmountainwoman said...

I've been a real fan of Ron Rash and have enjoyed all of his novels. I was a little disappointed with this one. Perhaps I had my expectations too high. That said, it is indeed a good read...just not up to his other novels.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to reading the book---got a kick out of the name Laurel Shelton, for obvious reasons.
Deana the Queena

Vicki Lane said...

Mtnwoman -- it's very different from Serena -- not as rich but I still really enjoyed it.

Yeah, Deana -- that gave me a giggle too. For those not familiar with our area, there's a section of our county called Shelton Laurel -- and Rash's heroine is Laurel Shelton. Coincidence? I'll ask him in July.

Victoria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victoria said...

Let's see if this one comes out the way I write it; the first one didn't.

I read "The Cove" and "Serena" a few weeks ago. I loved both of them, but "The Cove" was my favorite. What an amazing writer Mr. Rash is!