I was recently thrilled to receive a copy of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry from Serpent’s Tail publishing. Not just a beautiful hardback with gorgeous endpapers, this book was writing at some of its finest and deserves a full 5 stars.
Set in London in 1893, Cora Seaborne is recently (happily) made a widow and moves to Essex with her son Francis to take in the fresh air and pursue her interest in naturalism. It isn’t long before unusual rumours of the mythical Essex Serpent reach them, and, in its pursuit, she finds herself irrevocably drawn towards the resident vicar.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I read this book but after the first 50 pages or so, I was drawn in and hooked until the last page. The historical setting and relationships between each of the cast of characters was written so compellingly that I flew though this book in a couple of days and enjoyed it immensely.
Read this if you like literary and historical fiction, it is perfect for fans of The Miniaturist and All The Light We Cannot See, due to its beautifully rich prose, depth of characters and subjects discussed.
“I am torn and I am mended-I want everything and need nothing…”
– Sarah Perry, The Essex Serpent