Imatge de l'autor

Ron Rash

Autor/a de Serena

26+ obres 5,934 Membres 340 Ressenyes 18 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Inclou el nom: Ron Rash

Crèdit de la imatge: Ron Rash, à Paris, en 2019

Obres de Ron Rash

Serena (2008) 1,772 exemplars
The Cove (2012) 769 exemplars
One Foot in Eden (2002) 511 exemplars
Burning Bright: Stories (2010) 421 exemplars
Above the Waterfall (2015) 409 exemplars
The World Made Straight (2006) 375 exemplars
Saints at the River (2004) 361 exemplars
Nothing Gold Can Stay: Stories (2013) 271 exemplars
The Risen (2016) 214 exemplars
Chemistry and Other Stories (2007) 131 exemplars
The Caretaker (2023) 127 exemplars
Eureka Mill (1998) 47 exemplars
Raising the Dead (2002) 44 exemplars

Obres associades

The Best American Short Stories 2010 (2010) — Col·laborador — 410 exemplars
The Best American Short Stories 2009 (2009) — Col·laborador — 361 exemplars
The Best American Short Stories 2018 (2018) — Col·laborador — 254 exemplars
New Stories from the South 2008: The Year's Best (2008) — Col·laborador — 51 exemplars
The Best American Mystery Stories 2019 (2019) — Col·laborador — 47 exemplars
New Stories from the South 2010: The Year's Best (2010) — Col·laborador — 39 exemplars
Stories from the Blue Moon Café II (2003) — Col·laborador — 30 exemplars
Red Holler: Contemporary Appalachian Literature (2013) — Col·laborador — 16 exemplars
A Cast of Characters and Other Stories (2006) — Col·laborador — 13 exemplars
Surreal South (2007) — Col·laborador — 12 exemplars
The Alumni Grill: Anthology of Southern Writers (2004) — Col·laborador — 12 exemplars
Murder Under the Oaks: Bouchercon 2015 Anthology (2015) — Col·laborador — 10 exemplars


Coneixement comú



This novel, set in North Carolina in the early 1950s, examines love (familial, passionate, friendship) in its many forms.

Jacob Hampton marries 16-year-old Naomi Clarke against his parents’ wishes. As a result, he is disinherited. Shortly after their elopement, Jacob is conscripted and sent to Korea. Before he leaves, Jacob asks his best friend, Blackburn Gant, to look after Naomi in his absence, especially because she is pregnant. When his parents learn that their son has been injured, they devise a devious plan to keep Jacob and Naomi apart when he returns to the U.S.

The title is perfect. Blackburn is the caretaker of a cemetery. Disfigured by polio, he is spurned or ridiculed by most members of the community so he is very much a loner. Jacob is his only real friend. Blackburn takes his job seriously; he is meticulous in his caretaking of the dead: “Small acts of respect mattered.” He is also a caretaker of the living: “Caretaking was a duty to the living and the dead.” As friendless as she is, Blackburn forms a bond with Naomi and helps her to prepare for the birth of her child. After a nasty altercation with Mr. Hampton, Blackburn takes Naomi back to eastern Tennessee to live with her father. When Jacob returns from Korea, Blackburn supports his friend.

Blackburn may be a social outcast, but he is an admirable man. He is dependable, loyal, honest, and trustworthy – truly a man of honour. A target of intolerance, his typical reaction is to just walk away. He has wisdom as well. In one conversation, Jacob comments that “’to love a person enough that you’d want them to love someone else instead of you . . . that’s hard.’” Blackburn responds, “’Maybe it ain’t about having to make a choice which person you love . . . Maybe a heart’s big enough for both.’” His actions prove that Blackburn does indeed possess a big heart.

There is considerable suspense. With its forbidden love and star-crossed lovers vibe, the book will remind readers of Romeo and Juliet. Will Jacob and Naomi’s story end in a similar tragedy? Jacob’s parents, the town’s most prominent couple, possess an arrogance bordering on hubris. They use their power and money to threaten others to get what they want. Believing they know what is best for their son, they give little consideration to what would best make him happy. Will justice prevail or will Jacob unknowingly be manipulated into the life his parents want for him?

The book is not without some flaws. Though the motivations of the characters are clearly detailed, the scheme to keep Jacob and Naomi apart is a bit over-the-top and requires some suspension of disbelief. Their hatred of Naomi seems excessive. Jacob’s inaction on his return seems out of character. And the ending feels abrupt and too pat.

Despite these weaknesses, I recommend the book. It examines what love is and what it is not in an engaging way with a sympathetic main character. I’m sufficiently impressed that I’ll be checking out the author’s previous novels.

Note: Please check out my reader's blog ( and follow me on Twitter (
… (més)
Schatje | Hi ha 8 ressenyes més | Feb 23, 2024 |
This is one of those very few novels I wish I could give a higher than 5* rating. It was a joy to read the gloriously elegant prose the author used to tell, in such a contemplative, unhurried fashion, this moving and thought-provoking story. I loved his multi-layered character development, the psychological credibility of their various interactions, behaviour and decision-making, as well as his reflective explorations of love, friendship, family dynamics, deception, loss, grief, mourning, post-traumatic stress.… (més)
linda.a. | Hi ha 8 ressenyes més | Feb 23, 2024 |
This is, for me, a rare 5 story rating. It is a novel by an accomplished author that defines the meaning of friendship and loyalty. The title character is Blackburn Gant, disfigured by polio, and shunned and bullied by the townspeople until he meets Jacob and they become lifelong friends. Blackburn is in charge of maintaining the church graveyard, which he does with respect for those buried there.

When Jacob marries Naomi, his parents consider her beneath their social status and disinherit him. He asks Blackburn to look after her during his deployment, which Blackburn does with the loyalty and conscientiousness that defines his character.

The cruel deception arranged by his parents is heartbreaking. Everyone who reads The Caretaker will be grateful to Ron Rash for writing this truly amazing book about a hero named Blackburn.
… (més)
pdebolt | Hi ha 8 ressenyes més | Jan 25, 2024 |
This short and poignant tale of a family's efforts to split up their son and his undesirable sweetheart is my favorite Ron Rash book to date. I highly recommend it.

My thanks to the late Mike Sullivan, aka Lawyer, and all the folks at the On the Southern Literary Trail group for giving me the opportunity to read and discuss this and many other fine books.
Unkletom | Hi ha 8 ressenyes més | Jan 18, 2024 |



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