I’ve been looking for a juicy fiction read and finally found it! Set in 1893, The Essex Serpent is a Dickens-esque story of recently widowed Cora Seaborne who leaves London for the wilds of Essex in search of fossils and freedom. What she finds is family, friendship, and a mythical beast.
The Victorian era characters are all here– the handsome vicar, his pretty consumptive wife, the jolly squire with the bright waistcoats, the crippled beggar, the peculiar child, and the mysterious serpent of the title. But Perry’s prose sets this book apart. Her descriptions of the dreary, magical Essex countryside are so vivid that I caught a chill just reading about it.
What Other Reviewers Say
Sunday Times: “Filled with wisdom about human behavior and motivations, and written in a distinctive, stylish prose, The Essex Serpent is one the most memorable historical novels of the past decade.”
Who Wrote It
Sarah Perry was born in Essex in 1979. Her first novel, After Me Comes the Flood, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize. The Essex Serpent is her American debut.