In the Valley

Ron Rash. Doubleday, $26.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-385-54429-0
The 10 stories in Rash’s revelatory collection (after The Risen) range from contemporary slices of life to period character studies, and from quiet closet dramas to miniature epics. The title story, a pendant to his 2008 novel, Serena, flirts with the mythological in its extraordinary depiction of Serena Pemberton, the steel-willed owner of a Depression-era logging camp, who rules over her employees and the forests that they’re felling like a raging Fury. Standouts among the book’s contemporary entries include “L’homme Blessé,” in which a grieving widower finds consolation in prehistoric art reproduced by a traumatized WWII veteran on the walls of his room; “Ransom,” about the peculiar bond a kidnap victim develops with her abductor; and “Sad Man in the Sky,” whose main character, a newly released con, engineers an audacious airborne stunt to deliver presents to children that a restraining order prevents him from visiting. In simple but eloquent prose, Rash describes the vulnerabilities, fears, and desires of his characters and shows how often they unite persons from vastly different walks of life and social strata. The skillful craftsmanship of these tales and their subtle but powerful climaxes make for profoundly moving reading. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 05/27/2020
Release date: 08/04/2020
Genre: Fiction
Show other formats
FORMATS
Discover what to read next
TIP SHEET
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X
X