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.