The Essex Serpent
By Sarah Perry
Custom House, 9780062666383, 2018, 464pp.
The Short of It:
Not exactly what I expected but entertaining nonetheless.
The Rest of It:
London, 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s brilliant, domineering husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was an unhappy one, and she never suited the role of society wife. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space, she leaves the metropolis for coastal Essex, accompanied by her inquisitive and obsessive eleven-year-old son, Francis, and the boy’s nanny, Martha, her fiercely protective friend. ~ Indiebound
What makes this story interesting is that it also includes a mythical creature, the Essex serpent. After years of rumors, a man shows up dead and once again the town is convinced that the serpent is back to its tricks.
As you’re reading though, whether or not this creature actually exists is left up to the reader. Does the creature represent something or more specifically, someone in the story? I found this story to be very readable and read it in one afternoon but I found the characters to be unremarkable. We picked it for book club and there wasn’t that much to discuss but some of the members have seen the series adaptation and so had some good comparisons to share.
Have you read it? I think I expected it to be more adventurous.
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