The Cove by Ron Rash

  Regina  Review by:  Regina

Title:  The Cove

Author: Ron Rash

Collection:  Adult Fiction

Such a beautiful, quiet, haunting book….of wrongdoings, bittersweet love, fear and judgment, brave heroes and shameful cowards, and life-changing secrets.

Set in the mountains and coves of North Carolina, the main character, lovely, lonely Laurel Shelton, is thought to be a witch by the superstitious people of Mars Hill – her birthmark proves it according to them. Laurel lives in a backwoods cove, so deep that the sun only dapples it occasionally, with her war hero brother Hank. While walking through the cove and listening to birdsong, she comes across a young man playing a silver flute. Laurel stays hidden, visiting him almost daily, but never revealing herself until the day she finds him, unresponsive, stung by yellow jackets. Somehow she manages to help him home to her cabin where she enlists Hank’s help. Going through the young man’s dirty, threadbare clothing that needs washed, Laurel discovers a note – her foundling’s name is Walter: he is mute and trying to get to New York. As Walter heals slowly and begins to help her brother on the land, Laurel begins to finally dream, feeling her life is about to change for the good.

An amazing piece of work – being of the mountains myself, the descriptions of the cove and birdsong Ron Rash weaves into the story are almost ethereal in their beauty. Highly recommended and I believe I will check out Rash’s earlier novel, Serena…


Review by:  Lisa

Living deep within a cove in the Appalachians of North Carolina during World War I, Laurel Shelton finally finds the happiness she deserves in Walter, a mysterious stranger who is mute, but their love cannot protect them from a devastating secret.

Shunned by the locals in their town, Laurel and her brother Hank live near the Cove.  Hank has just returned from the war, where he lost his hand, yet continues to work.  Laurel takes care of both Hank and chores around their home, but Rash paints a picture of her lonely and unfulfilled life that leaves the reader rooting for her to find happiness.  Gothic in tone, tragic and bittersweet, The Cove is a well-written book worth checking out.

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