Thursday, April 17, 2014

"Serena" by Ron Rash

How would you describe Serena's philosophy of life? What does she value most? What importance does she place on honesty? In your opinion, did she ever truly love Pemberton?  If so, what do her actions in the end say about what she values most in life?

For Readers New to Serena
As Serena came more alive to me as a character, I realized she was an anomaly in American literary fiction. While there have been many novels about women who have wielded great power within a family, how many have been about a woman who is a “captain of industry,” especially in novels set in the past? This aspect of Serena made her even more intriguing to me. How would she assert herself, and prove herself, to the hundred men in her employment? How would the workers, and her husband, react to her strength and ambition? This, too, makes it a novel for our times.
I have never worked harder or longer on a novel than this one. Its scope is much more ambitious and its landscape more vast, but, in the end, the novel’s ultimate theme is the universal and timeless vagaries of the human heart.
—Ron Rash

For more information about the author, check out:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson

After the execution of her father, a young teen along with her mother and brother are swooped away from their country to the United States by the CIA. Laila along with her mother and 6 year old brother Bastien have to adapt to a new culture and completely new environment. In their previous life everything is done for them as they were "royalty".  Laila does not know anything about making friends or navigating streets of a new area. She slowly learns and just about when she thought that they would be in the United States for a long time, she discovers her mother's conversations with her uncle, the man that killed her father. Without her truly understanding what was going on, her mother uses her to take revenge on her uncle for his killing of his brother. Laila quickly discovers what actually happened and turns the cards her way, now she is the one in control of what will happen from now on. She is the Invisible Queen!"
A very interesting read. The story helps with understanding what it is like to live in a country with political unrest. It also makes the reader aware of the freedoms every American has but sometimes takes for granted.