“The Risen is an important novel — and an intriguing one — from one of our master storytellers. In its pages, the past rises up, haunting and chiding, demanding answers of us all.” —The News & Observer New York Times bestselling author Ron Rash demonstrates his superb narrative skills in this suspenseful and evocative tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer, one bewitching young woman—and the secrets that could destroy their lives.
While swimming in a secluded creek on a hot Sunday in 1969, sixteen-year-old Eugene and his older brother, Bill, meet the entrancing Ligeia. A sexy, free-spirited redhead from Daytona Beach banished to their small North Carolina town, Ligeia entrances the brothers, especially Eugene, who is drawn to her raw sensuality and rebellious attitude. Eugene begins to move farther and farther away from his brother, the cautious and dutiful Bill, and when Ligeia vanishes as suddenly as she appeared, the growing rift between the two brothers becomes immutable.
Decades later, the once close brothers now lead completely different lives. Bill is a gifted and successful surgeon, and a paragon of the community, while Eugene, the town reprobate, is a failed writer and determined alcoholic. When a shocking reminder of the past unexpectedly surfaces, Eugene is plunged back into that fateful summer, and the girl he cannot forget.
The deeper Eugene delves into his memories, the closer he comes to finding the truth. But can Eugene’s recollections be trusted? And will the truth set him free and offer salvation . . . or destroy his damaged life and everyone he loves?
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.
So much unexpected held back until the very end.