I must first and foremost that I highly enjoyed reading this novel and if I was in town I would definitely be going to meet Ron Rash when he is in town. Serena is such a ruthless person. She comes in to Pemberton’s life and everything revolves around her need to money and power. She gains power and prestige over the crew by winning the bet against one of the workers. And then she has him fired because he went against her and lost. If he hadn’t she probably would have had him fired anyways. She spends all of her time lifting herself above everyone else, even her husband.
While it seems that Pemberton does love his wife, she doesn’t show the same affection and love towards him. To her, the power and money are more important then her love for him. He would sacrifice anything for her yet she would sacrifice him for the love of money. She reminded me of Margot from the story we read a little while back, “The Short Happy Like of Francis Macomber”. The two characters have the same heartless demeanors. Serena’s ruthlessness seems to be magnified when she losses her child and becomes sterile. She goes after the doctor as her first kill and even plots to kill Rachel and Pemberton’s baby.
The workers are in such a tight spot. Their living conditions are horrible and their pay is small. Yet there isn’t work anywhere else because of the depression. You either live this horrible, dangerous life or not live at all. They are lucky if they make it a certain age with all of the fingers and toes.
This evil monster is living in Serena and as the story progresses this monster seems as if it grows. She has this thirst to kill and takes her own personal experiences to fuel that need. She is just a plain psychopath.