... mesmerizing ... takes Serena to such a fever pitch of destruction that in a lesser writer’s hands it might seem overheated. But Rash maintains the deep keel that has always distinguished him and has perhaps led to him being characterized as 'Southern,' a designation he apparently finds dismissive. He shouldn’t; he’s one of the best living American writers, and his laconic understatement is much more powerful than excess. There’s nothing rash about Rash. The way that influenza deaths figure in In the Valley is as terrifying as anything you may find on the subject, even if its crescendo is ... The novella’s minor characters, human and otherwise, are all drawn with exceptional care. That’s also true in the nine other stories in this slim volume, though some are very short.
Rash profoundly immerses readers in the Appalachia he calls home. His latest collection is highly recommended not only for readers who value protecting our environment but also for anyone who enjoys well-told stories of justice and revenge.