Serena Pemberton: Character Connection

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We all have characters we love. Let’s spotlight these fantastic creations! Whether you want to be friends with them or you have a full-blown crush on them, you know you love them and want everyone else to love them too!

Most of you will probably post about how much you love each character, but this is a great place for the more creative ones among you to let go and have fun! Write a love letter to Captain Wentworth. Write yourself into a scene with Anne and Diana. Draw a picture of yourself in Jamie’s arms. The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader every Thursday.

This is my first Character Connection about a character that I love to hate! She’s from Serena by Ron Rash, set in the early 1930s.

Serena Pemberton. Her very name gives me chills. She’s the daughter of a lumber baron from Colorado and she marries another one based in North Carolina.

Cover of Serena by Ron Rash

We first meet Serena as she’s on a train pulling into her new home in Waynesville, NC. When she and her husband get off the train, they’re met by a drunken father whose daughter is pregnant with Mr. Pemberton’s child. The father ineffectively tries to attack Pemberton. Serena incites her husband to murder the man and then gives the knife to his daughter, saying that’s the only thing she’ll ever get from her or her husband. She then asks Pemberton how it felt to kill a man.

Holy cow. What kind of crazy woman do we have here? And that’s just the beginning.

In my review, I described Serena like this:

I detested her, but she is going to stick with me the way Lady MacBeth and Medea have. I had to admire her strength and ambition, but she was ruthless and proud of it. She almost seemed to see those weaker than her as prey, and she saw almost everyone as being weaker than her. There’s a kind of mythology that springs up around her in the camp. She thinks of ingenious solutions to problems, such as rattlesnake bites among the loggers. She really doesn’t care when loggers die though. It’s the Depression after all, and for every one worker that dies or is disfigured, there are innumerable men waiting to take his place. I would have liked an explanation as to why she was the way she was. She grew up in the camps, and there’s a dark past that’s hinted at but never explained. Was she just born heartless or did something or someone shape her to be that way?

She and her husband have a scarily intense relationship. You know, one of those kinds of “I want to feel everything you feel, know everything you know, and basically just be so close to you that we’re one person” kinds of freaky relationships. But they’re also rich and powerful, so there’s an element of, “This world is ours and we can do whatever we want with it. We will ride it together until it goes up in flames.” Yeah. That intense.

Her husband is with her every step of the way at first, but eventually her cruelty gets to be too much even for him. Their body count is getting higher and higher and she seems to be almost feeding off the excitement of it. Okay, that makes this sound a little paranormal, but it’s not, I assure you. She’s just a twisted, twisted lady woman. I kept wishing and hoping for her to get what was coming for her and she just kept going and going, causing more and more trouble.

Who did you connect with this week? Write a post and link up! Be sure to visit everyone else’s posts too!

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  1. Serena sounds really really scary. I wouldn't want to get on HER bad side. But I wouldn't want to be her friend, either. I just wanted to stop by to compliment you on your Character Connection meme. I love to write; and can't wait to introduce you to some of my favorite, or not so favorite, characters. I didn't sign up since I just found your meme on Friday. I'm still gonna visit the entries, though. Grace (my favorite character) and I will see you next Thursday. Have a great weekend.

  2. love villains! and women -villains.. interesting! i loved your comparison to Medea and Lady Macbeth, i'm more familiar with them, but Serena sounds like a very powerful character as well.

  3. That lady, i mean, woman, definitely sounds creepy ;)We got to love our love to hate characters!

  4. Whoa, I've never even hear of this book. I'll have to check into it. Sounds delightful. 😉

    But really, she does sound like an interesting character. I love characters that I can hate with a passion. If that makes sense.. LOL!

  5. Serena definitely sounds like a devious woman, and certainly nobody to cross paths with or look at crooked!!
    I'm curious what happens to her… Hmmm…

  6. Wow that is one woman I would never want to meet up with. Great analysis, makes me want to read the book just so I hate her too.

  7. Wow, awesome description. It's interesting how a character you hate sticks with you and you even admire them. Great post!

  8. +JMJ+

    Oh, wow! A real villain, with seemingly no redeeming qualities! And yet she sounds darkly fascinating . . .

  9. Oh yeah–Serena was one of my all-time favorite characters. She was so awful that you could hardly feel sorry for her about her baby.

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