by Ron Rash
October, 2008 Ecco
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.
I'm currently reading this and I decided to read is for the same reason as you (book before movie and all). I'm about 150 pages in and I'm actually having a hard time getting through it. Like you, I'm also very interested in Rachel and I'm sad to hear she doesn't get much time in the story.
Megan C. Stroup says
I also gave it three stars. It was just too slow for me. And I wanted to learn more about Rachel, too! Especially toward the end of the book.