Ecco 9/29/2009. New paperback. 2009 SIBA Fiction Award Winner. At the beginning of Serena, 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. 'As Serena came more alive to me as a character, I realized she was an anomaly in American literary fiction. While there have been many novels about women who have wielded great power within a family, how many have been about a woman who is a ‘captain of industry,’ especially in novels set in the past? This aspect of Serena made her even more intriguing to me. How would she assert herself, and prove herself, to the hundred men in her employment? How would the workers, and her husband, react to her strength and ambition? This, too, makes it a novel for our times.' -- Ron Rash.