The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry: Book Review

January is almost half gone and I’m only done with my first read of the month. The Essex Serpent was part of my unread shelf from quite a year, I picked it as the first read of the year for its spectacular cover and for all the wonderful reviews it got. It has a considerable length with well-crafted words. I read it unhurriedly taking in its impressive prose and the times it was set in.

The return of the ‘Essex Serpent’ is out on the streets of Aldwinter, a creature exited in the fables of earlier times is said to be in the firth of a blackwater river. Allured by the hearsay, Cora seaborne, a recently widowed along with her son Francis visits Aldwinter to hunt the myth and science of the fable where she meets William Ransome, the vicar of Aldwinter, who is a firm believer of the faith. Both of them soon enter into a series of discussions, exchange of letters and differences of opinions of which after a period of time makes their bond stronger and they find themselves attracted to each other.


Sarah’s words are melodic, rich, and atmospheric. The description of scenes, characters, places are skilfully written making one an awe of her writing. Her every character leaves an impression. The Essex Serpent is absolutely a reread for its rich words and writing.

But even with this prominent skill of writing in the book, I found it hard to absorb myself in the plot. The narrative has though been fascinating, it failed to engage me. I wasn’t enjoying the tale of ‘The Essex Serpent’ as I expected it to be. It could be because of the excessive account of location or place or could be because the story moves at a considerably slower pace. There was neither a rational or insightful debate on the rumored myth of the serpent, nor any reasoning charming the readers with the tale of unexplored species.


The Essex Serpent was satisfying, quite a pleasant read though it becomes unexciting for the most part of the book.


Have you happened to read this book? Or thinking of it lately?

Do share your thoughts in the comments below.




Title: The Essex Serpent

Author: Sarah Perry

Publisher: Serpent’s Tail

Publishing Date: 16th May 2017

My Rating: 3.5 stars

Links: Amazon Goodreads Instagram Twitter Facebook





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