The Risen

Ron Rash. Ecco, $27.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-243631-3

Ligeia’s disappearance, and the events around it, were never resolved for Eugene, and he is stunned to find her ageless face suddenly appear on the cover of his local newspaper. Now a struggling alcoholic, Eugene was 16 when he first saw Ligeia, swimming nude, during the summer of 1969. Taken by her seemingly otherworldly presence, Eugene and his older brother, Bill, fell under her spell and were pulled into that adventurous summer of free love and experimentation. After Eugene succumbs to her enchantments and a brief romance ensues, a rift develops between the two brothers, who view the cultural changes sweeping America in drastically different ways. Contrary to what the brothers have always believed, Ligeia didn’t just leave town that summer. With her sudden resurrection, the most disturbing questions around what actually happened all those years before sets Eugene out to get the truth from his estranged brother, Bill, now a successful surgeon in the small North Carolina town where they grew up. Rash (Serena) invites readers into the lush Carolina hinterland where blissful innocence and larger cultural currents clash with deep consequences for malleable Eugene. Beyond the propulsion of Rash’s thrilling whodunit plot is his characteristically excellent prose. (Sept.)