I was somewhat prepared for this book having read a few short stories by Ron Rash. Yet, I was still overwhelmed. What a stunning work! Shockingly heartless and greedy characters beyond your imaginings set against lush and beautiful descriptions of North Carolina timber country during the the American depression. I hated the character Serena and kept wanting some evil to come to her, yet I loved this book. At one point, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. What an extraordinary writer Ron Rash is. Surely one of the best authors of our time.