THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER
Overall Book of the Year and Fiction Book of the Year at the British Book Awards 2017 (Nibbies)
Longlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
The Waterstones Book of the Year 2016
Shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award
London, 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s controlling husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness. Along with her son Francis – a curious, obsessive boy – she leaves town for Essex, in the hope that fresh air and open space will provide refuge.
On arrival, rumours reach them that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for superstition, is enthralled, convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a yet-undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter’s vicar, who is also deeply suspicious of the rumours, but thinks they are a distraction from true faith.
As he tries to calm his parishioners, Will and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing, they find themselves at once drawn together and torn apart, affecting each other in ways that surprise them both.
The Essex Serpent is a celebration of love, and the many different shapes it can take.
Not only is this stunning cover worthy to be hung on any wall, but it is perfectly suited to the story within the cover. When I look at it, I see amongst the trailing plants a coiled serpent, with a flowering head and a stamen forming the flicking tongue. It is bold and yet not over powering. It was the cover catching my eye in my local Waterstones that led me to buying the book and I adored both it gothic atmosphere and the love story within the pages.
About the author
Sarah Grace Perry FRSL (born 28 November 1979) is an English author. She has had three novels published, all by Serpent’s Tail: After Me Comes The Flood, (2014) The Essex Serpent (2016) and Melmoth (2018). Her work has been translated into 22 languages.
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