by Ron Rash
Last week I went to hear Alison Krauss and Union Station. Hearing Alison sing and reading Ron Rash’s new novel made me feel exactly the same way — a beautiful, heartbreaking melancholy that makes me want to notice every nuance in the aching world. That’s what Ron’s writing is like — a pitch perfect, yearning song.
Inspired by the little known fact that there was WWI German internment camp in North Carolina, Ron weaves a story around an escaped prisoner finding his way through the dense and dark beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. It’s all here in The Cover — love, longing, beauty, lightness, and darkness.
Ron is known for his lyricism and poetic style (he is also a poet), and for me, this novel seemed to contain entire poems in single sentences. When he writes “Dawnlight unshackled high branches from the dark” or or “She looked around the bedraped granite, her washings like leavings from the streams’ recent flooding”, or “.the lack of greenery made the mountains starker, more firmly locked to the land.”
Ron Rash makes me believe that the English language is more beautiful than even I had supposed.