Rash, Ron. The Risen
Booklist Reviews 2016 June #1
Poet, short story writer, and novelist Rash (Above the Waterfall, 2015) is best known both for his deep-seated ties to Appalachia, and for his concerns over the ongoing destruction of our environment. So his latest novel is somewhat of a departure, a character-driven plot with a mystery at its core, centered on two brothers, now in their sixties and still living in Sylva, their small North Carolina hometown. The long-buried remains of a young woman are discovered as the novel opens, propelling Eugene and Bill Matney back to 1969. That summer, before Bill, 21, headed to med school, he and Eugene, 16, met the lovely, sensual Ligeia. At 17 she was more worldly than either brother, and had been banished to Sylva to stay with relatives far away from the allure of Daytona's drug scene. After Ligeia's inexplicable disappearance that fateful season, the brothers became emotionally estranged. Bill is now a successful surgeon; Eugene is a failed academic and an alcoholic. When the past suddenly confronts them, the rift grows wider, and Rash pulls the reader in with an element of suspense injected into his astute exploration of the clash of cultures, past and present. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.
LJ Reviews 2016 April #2
In 1969, at a quietly burbling creek near their North Carolina home, 16-year-old Eugene and older brother Bill meet gorgeous, rule-breaking Ligeia, who's visiting from Daytona Beach, FL, and introduces them to the joys of the counterculture—with long-term repercussions. With a 75,000-copy first printing.[Page 62]. (c) Copyright 2016 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
LJ Reviews 2016 September #2
A disturbing discovery along a creek bed in North Carolina pulls Eugene Matney back into the summer of 1969, when Eugene and his older brother, Bill, fell for a "wild child" from Florida. Eugene was especially mesmerized by this exotic hippie visitor named Ligeia, who introduced the shy teen to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But by the end of summer, Ligeia suddenly disappeared and Eugene had discovered that alcohol was the one true love of his life. Meanwhile, dutiful brother Bill becomes a successful surgeon, following in the footsteps of their tyrannical grandfather. How will the gruesome find in Panther Creek upend their lives? What secrets have been long buried? Rash has sometimes been called a Southern gothic writer, and his nod to Poe in naming his troubled character Ligeia might point that way, along with the portrayal of Nebo, Grandfather Matney's mute, sinister assistant. Though his stories, set mostly in the Southern mountains, have a strong sense of place, his beautifully written fiction transcends any formula. VERDICT Rash is not only a master of suspense, he's one of our finest writers. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 3/21/16.]—Leslie Patterson, Rehoboth, MA. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.
PW Reviews 2016 July #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.)[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC