Today is the release in America of The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry.
It was such an incredible book and I highly recommend it as a read or if you’re looking for a gift for someone. It’s absolutely gorgeous and it has such an elegant story!
If you are looking for a newer book that has an older style writing feel, then this is the book for you! Check out my review for my full opinion on the book!
“London, 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one, and she never suited the role of society wife. Accompanied by her son Francis – a curious, obsessive boy – she leaves town for Essex, where she hopes fresh air and open space will provide the refuge they need.
When they take lodgings in Colchester, rumours reach them from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, is immediately enthralled, convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a previously undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter’s vicar.
Like Cora, Will is deeply suspicious of the rumours, but he thinks they are founded on moral panic, a flight from real faith. As he tries to calm his parishioners, he and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart, eventually changing each other’s lives in ways entirely unexpected.
Told with exquisite grace and intelligence, this novel is most of all a celebration of love, and the many different guises it can take.”
-From book jacket
This book was an absolutely exquisite read – there really is no other way to put it. First of all, a little bit about the author. She is highly well educated with a PhD in creative writing from Royal Halloway, which is a very well respected university. Additionally, she has been the writer in residence at Gladstone’s Library as well as the UNESCO World City of Literature Writer in Residence in Prague (summarized from book jacket). So clearly she knows her stuff in regards to writing and this is clearly evident within the book.
It is written in an older English kind of style as there are Old English contractions between words, as well as English spelling and longer sentences. It is more like a Jane Austen novel than a newer piece of literature, which I absolutely love. This book is nothing like you will find in the ‘new’ section of your bookstores.
It was definitely a challenging read, to get into it, as it was so different from any other book that one may generally read. It took a few chapters to get into the book and understand the flow of how it would be progressing, but once you did, it was a wonderful story. It was vividly written with beautiful descriptions and you were really able to feel the atmosphere of the book and locations mentioned with great ease.
If you are looking for a book that is fast paced, then this is not your book. It is a very slow story but it keeps you interested. I do not mean slow in a negative way, but there are no fights or action scenes as such. It was a calm book and not once did I have any of my emotions go to an extreme where I had adrenaline pumping or tears streaming down my face. It was all so calm and peaceful which I loved.
There was one small sex scene, which shocked the living daylights out of me. It was so soft and nothing really happened but it was obvious what was happening. And for the time period and what was happening in the story, it shocked me overall and was just so scandalous. In other books I wouldn’t have even batted an eyelash however in this one I was internally going “oh my gosh, wait what?!”
Overall this book was fantastic! It won’t be released in the United States until June 6th, so this is definitely hot off the press. It has been released in the UK for a few months however, like all good things, other countries had to wait for it.
So I do recommend adding this to your wishlist and giving it a buy. It’s an amazing read and a wonderful gift for any book lover in your life. I mean, just look at the cover! Who wouldn’t love to receive a book that was beautiful as that?
Happy Reading and let me know what you all think!
Read below for details!
Check out the book here.
Book Title: Finding Magdalena
Author: Shannon Cordon
Author Website/Blog Link: outskirtspress.com/findingmagdalena
Book Genre: Coming of age
Blurb: Maggie Curran grew up traveling Europe with her professor father and her music teacher mother. Her mother, a native of Spain was disowned from her family when she married Maggie’s father. Maggie is home schooled until a family decision sends her to a prestigious boarding school in Virginia. Maggie, an accomplished vocalist and straight A student, wins a four year scholarship. In the spring of Maggie’s freshman year, she suffers an unbearable tragedy. She clings to her best friend, Graham Ashworth, who is the only one who can pull her out of her grief. In her junior year, she is deemed stable enough to have a roommate and is soon embracing the bubbly Sarah who helps bring Maggie out of her shell. When Maggie travels home with Sarah for Thanksgiving, she meets Sarah’s older brother, Eric. An innocent Maggie soon finds herself flattered by Eric’s attention. When Maggie returns to school, she and Graham finally take their friendship to the next level. A jealous Eric becomes violent and tortures Maggie. When Eric is given a light sentence at a mental institution, Maggie knows she must leave. She enrolls at the University of Malaga, Spain and seeks out her mother’s family. In the process, she meets Mateo, who becomes her friend a bridge between her and her newly found relatives. Just as she is settling into her new life, Eric escapes and comes after her with an intent to kill. Soon she and Mateo, now her fiancé, are jumping around Europe trying to stay ahead of Eric and his unknown cohorts. Can Maggie survive the shattering climax?
Amazon Link: www.amazon.com/-/e/B0198L8M4M
Unfortunately I don’t have time to read this book at the moment….but this looks absolutely fantastic and hope that when I have time in the summer that I’ll be able to give it a go. If any of my readers get to it before I do, please let me know what you think about it!
Book tour hosted by BookBear.