I’m Seraphim Bryant and I work at Tenbury Library UK I love to read but it wasn’t always so. I struggle with the written word, and will all my life, but I have the taste for adventure too and there is nothing as remarkable as the other worlds we find in books.
This week I finished reading The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. It is chocka-block with different themes including love and friendship, science and religion. The book begins with a fantastic mystery. on New Year’s Eve, a drunk young man wanders down to the shore of the Blackwater estuary with the intention of swimming. He senses something strange in the water and then disappears.
Set in 1893 Cora Seaborne her son Francis exchange bustling London and rural Essex after her husband passes. I love how refreshing the main characters of Cora and Dr Garrett are. Cora is, a bright woman who has a burning interest in the natural sciences. Dr. Luke Garrett (nicknamed the Imp for his diminutive stature) has fallen in love with Michael Selborne’s wife, Cora, who he grew to know while treating her husband. He sensed an unhappiness in the marriage and became acquainted with Francis Seaborne (Cora’s son) and Martha (Francis’ nanny). when Cora moves to the rural village she discovers a population in thrall to the local legend of a sea monster lurking in the nearby estuary and a village priest who is desperately trying to dissuade his congregation of this belief.
A thoroughly exciting read the novel is full of ideas, though its sensibility is firmly, consciously, outright story. A cheeky bit gothic and a dreamy delivery start is not off putting at all . Narrative and voice coil together until it is very difficult to stop reading, very difficult to avoid being dragged into the dark and sometimes darkly comic waters.