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The Essex Serpent: The number one bestseller and British Book Awards Book of the Year Paperback – 20 Apr 2017
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The Essex Serpent is a novel to relish: a work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author (Sarah Waters)
Had Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker come together to write the great Victorian novel, I wonder if it would have surpassed The Essex Serpent? No way of knowing, but with only her second outing, Sarah Perry establishes herself as one of the finest fiction writers working in Britain today. (John Burnside)
A big, warm, generous novel that wears its considerable wisdom lightly, The Essex Serpent is an absolute pleasure from start to finish - I truly didn't want it to end. (Melissa Harrison)
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry [is] a joyous and beguiling book that wrapped itself around me rather like its eponymous monster. (Cathy Rentzenbrink)
A blissful novel of unapologetic appetites, where desire and faith mingle on the marshes, but friendship is the miracle. Sarah Perry has the rare gift of committing the uncommittable to prose - that is to say: here is a writer who understands life. (Jessie Burton)
A book to make you want to be a better person. (Justine Jordan, The Guardian)
I loved this book. At once numinous, intimate and wise, The Essex Serpent is a marvellous novel about the workings of life, love and belief, about science and religion, secrets, mysteries, and the complicated and unexpected shifts of the human heart - and it contains some of the most beautiful evocations of place and landscape I've ever read. It is so good its pages seem lit from within. As soon as I'd finished it I started reading it again. (Helen MacDonald)
A sinuous historical novel by the genius that is Sarah Perry (Lucy Mangan Stylist)
An historical novel with real depth ... Perry writes fantastically, and this deserves attention for the rest of the year. (Steven Cooper The Bookseller)
One day this book will make a fine BBC period drama ... Perry is a wonderful descriptive writer with a remarkable talent for making the familiar strange ... Her accounts of open-heart surgery carried out half a century before antibiotics, or an autistic child questioning the nature of sin, or a soldier's wedding in the phthisic slums of Bethnal Green, snatch the breath in your throat. Perry bleeds light into darkness and back again with a mastery born of her deep professional acquaintance with the gothic tradition. (Oliver Moody Times)
The literary sensation and Waterstones Book of the Year: a thrilling and unforgettable historical novel of love and intrigue now out in paperbackSee all Product description
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The Ransomes are the only characters marginally sympathetic, everyone else seemed to have been hastily mocked together as either a stereotype or something to please a modern audience without any context and about a subtle as a sledgehammer - The feminist, atheist, academic widow, the bisexual "companion" (want a good LGBT character? Read Sarah Waters instead), the watered down "Heathcliff" doctor, the autistic child who miraculously snaps out of it at the right moment, the love triangles that where as predictable as the sun setting in the west and an ending that looked as though the author had no idea herself where the story was going to go.
The writing was,at times,very good and reminiscent of Dickens but for me it just dragged in places.
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