Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Happy Wednesday, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent.

Cora Seaborne always strained beneath the weight and responsibility of marriage. Her husband was not a nice man and the constraints of society on women of her status were not exactly to her taste. And so, when she finds herself widowed, she also finds herself free. 

With her newfound freedom, she decides it's time to get back to her passion: science and discovery. Reports of new fossils found in Essex lead her to the town of Colchester where she's told the legend of the Essex serpent. That serpent of myth, it's rumored, has returned and has been wreaking havoc in a village called Aldwinter - a village where Cora finds she coincidentally has a common acquaintance. After gaining an introduction to the local vicar, William Ransome, Cora travels to Aldwinter in search of evidence of the serpent. Ransome, too, is in search of evidence - evidence the serpent is nothing more than the imaginings of a congregation turning away from faith. Prepared from the start to dislike one another to no end, the two find friendship in one another instead. And as they seek answers, they also find solace in their new bond. 

Readers, The Essex Serpent is undoubtedly the book I have to recommend most highly out of all of my recent reads! It is a brilliant tale, one that's woven in such a way as to be both dense and infectiously readable. Sarah Perry's prose is gorgeous and literary and utterly fabulous!

Cora Seaborne did not have a happy marriage. But it's the only relationship she's ever known. For her, the death of her husband means a chance to live the life she couldn't as a wife - to explore, to give up corsets, to not worry about what others think about her.

William Ransome has never shaken in his faith. Probably a good thing considering he's a vicar! But his village has lately become rampant with rumors of a terribly winged serpent. For him, the legend is nothing more than an excuse that takes parishioners away from the faith they should be turning to in times of need.

Together, and with a host of others, these two characters drive a story that's tinged with satisfyingly gothic undertones. But while the story would seem to be centered on that of the serpent, it is in fact a story of friendship and discovering one's own self.

As I mentioned above, The Essex Serpent is a bit of a dense read. And yet, it's undeniably a page turner as well. It's the kind of story that moves stealthily (I can't resist the snake comparison), grabbing hold almost without the reader noticing, and slowly submerging you within its pages.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Sarah Perry and her work you can visit her website here. You can also follow her on Twitter.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Olivia said...

Interesting! I picked this up during a charity sale because of the gorgeous cover! Can't wait to find out if I like it!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

I am SO EXCITED to read this book! The cover is gorgeous and the content is right up my alley. It sounds so good!

Thanks for being a part of the tour!