As most of you know, the past couple of months or so has been rather ‘meh’ for me and my family. As a result I’ve been searching through my rather extensive (okay, out of control) TBR piles for comforting, cosy, entertaining reads to ease me through this time.
The Essex Serpent came highly recommended to me via a colleague as exactly that kind of read.
Right from the beginning I went along for the ride that Sarah Perry set up so lushly. The Victorian time frame, the hint of danger, mystery and myth as well as a full cast of engaging characters kept me engaged and eager to pick up my book at the end of each day.
As most of you know, I don’t write book summaries. But if you want to know what the book is about, without actually, you know, reading it yourself, and you’ve managed to miss all the talk it, you can read the Goodreads blurb here.
Personally, I loved the focus on all the ways we love – parental love, friendship, the first flush of romantic love, unrequited love and the long term, loyal love of a happy marriage. Having taken the time to consider Perry’s epigraph, I was conscious of her intent the whole way through and it added to me reading experience.
I found The Essex Serpent to to a warm, generous and joyous read. Highly recommended as a holiday read or for those feeling jaded and in need of a good old-fashion reading romp.
The gorgeous William Morris-esque cover, designed by Peter Dyer, was simply an added bonus every time I picked it up.
It was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Novel Award and longlisted for this year’s Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.