The Essex Serpent - Sarah Perry
The Essex Serpent
2016, 418 pages, UK
Against the background of an ever growing interest in scientific approach to discoveries, which lead people to gradually understand what happened to the planet during all the eras preceding ours, 19th century England still harbours rural communities in which superstitious beliefs in ghosts, ogres and monsters remain close to the surface. This is the world in which newly widowed Cora Seagrave and devout reverend William Ransome find themselves to be contestants about the persistent tale of a monster lurking in the Blackwater estuary of Essex. She wants to find the truth. He wants to protect his parishioners from pagan rites. Perry weaves a delightful hint of the "Gothic" through this tale of a Victorian but undaunted lady, who appears to have a soft spot for the village rector.