Sunday, February 20, 2011

Burning Bright by Ron Rash

Another day and another review.  I'm so glad to be over this book now.  I hope you all are enjoying your weekend thus far.  Mine was productive with homework most of Saturday, but I did get to spend some quality time with my guy last night.  On with the review then!

Source:  Purchased
Released:  Marched 1st 2010
Published by:  Ecco
Page Count:  224
Buy it:  The Book Depository

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Ron Rash is "a storyteller of the highest rank" (Jeffrey Lent) and has won comparisons to John Steinbeck, Cormac McCarthy, and Gabriel GarcÍa MÁrquez. It is rare that an author can capture the complexities of a place as though it were a person, and rarer still that one can reveal a land as dichotomous and fractious as Appalachia—a muse; a siren; a rugged, brutal landscape of exceptional beauty, promise, and suffering—with the honesty and precision of a photograph. "If you haven't heard of the Southern writer Ron Rash, it is time you should" (The Plain Dealer). In Burning Bright, the stories span the years from the Civil War to the present day, and Rash's historical and modern settings are sewn together in a hauntingly beautiful patchwork of suspense and myth, populated by raw and unforgettable characters mined from the landscape of Appalachia. In "Back of Beyond," a pawnshop owner who profits from the stolen goods of local meth addicts—including his own nephew—comes to the aid of his brother and sister-in-law when they are threatened by their son. The pregnant wife of a Lincoln sympathizer alone in Confederate territory takes revenge to protect her family in "Lincolnites." And in the title story, a woman from a small town marries an outsider; when an unknown arsonist starts fires in the Smoky Mountains, her husband becomes the key suspect.In these stories, Rash brings to light a previously unexplored territory, hidden in plain sight—first a landscape, and then the dark yet lyrical heart and the alluringly melancholy soul of his characters and their homeDescription from Goodreads.

This was my first Ron Rash book and to be honest it didn't quite reach the expectations I had for it.  I guess because there wasn't a solid plot for me to get into was the reason why, which is what I'm use to with full novels, but I did enjoy this book when I made myself sit down and read it.  The imagery was well written and Ron Rash's style of writing is smooth which draws you into the world for the characters he created.  The book mainly focused on characters going though difficult times or event in their lives.  Most were the result of struggling with financial issues or poverty, others suffered from dwindling faith because of the result of struggling with poverty and loss.  My favorite stories from the collection were Hard Times, Dead Confederates, The Ascent, Burning Bright, The Corps Bird, and Linconites.  The best was The Ascent for me.  It was about a boy who's family is so poor that neither parent worked and wasted away their days getting high while slowly selling off items in the house to get by.  While his parents smoked their troubles away, the boy escapes to the woods after school where he finds a wrecked plane and pretends to fly away leaving his family and troubles behind.  All in all, it was a decent read, but I'd be lying if I said I couldn't put it down.  I really could and did often.  Others I'm sure will find it more engaging then I did, so I do encourage you to read it and decide for yourselves.



  1. I really really enjoyed your review! :) I look forward to reading more! <3

    and by the way, I am giving you the One Lovely Blog Award! Congratulations! ( :

  2. Thank you for both. :)

    That's funny though, twice in three days time I get the same exact award. You were nominated by the same person who nominated me the first time. (laughs)

  3. Hmm, doesn't sound like a real ringing endorsement for this book. The Good Reads blurb had me yawning. Just not my type of book but I give you an A for effort for just following through. Unless this was for class, I'd have never read it. I hate the way Appalachia is always portrayed as poor, uneducated, backwoods. Yes, there are places like that, but not all of it is like that. There are just as many places that are populated, with educated people that wear shoes and have jobs. To find the type of people in Rash's book you really have to hunt them down because they really don't want to be found.


  4. It was good, but I just couldn't get into it. Agree with you one hundred percent. There was a lot of references to uneducated, backwoods, people in this book (which I forgot to mentioned rather annoyed me since I live in the woods - not as far in as some friends of mine though).

  5. Aww, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this book much. But I do love your review - it's very classy and objective. Hopefully your next book would be way better!

    And thanks for dropping by my blog - Louisiana weather does sound a lot like the one we have here right now, and summer is just starting! Bubblegum ice cream tastes really great with cotton candy on top, but you'll get a bad case of sugar high.

    Have a great week and happy blogging!

    Brush Up On Your Reading

  6. I think I might pass on this one, it sounds like it has some strong stories in it, but I always have to be in the right mood to sit down and read books like this. I feel like I would probably be able to get up and walk away from this one repeatedly as well, so I don't think it's the book for me. Thanks for your honest review!

  7. @ Nina B.: Thank you! I always try to be objective with reviews (sometimes I do fail at it though X3 )

    Oh gosh, that would kill me with my sensitive tooth, which sucks cause I love cotton :(

    @Jenny: Thank you! This book isn't for everyone that's for sure.


I love comments and enjoy reading them so don't be shy! You know you want to. ;) I do my best to respond to everyone's comments when I can. If your following me and I haven't returned the favor, let me know! Happy blogging!



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...