1st November 2016
The Essex Serpent
Sarah Perry has such a vivid understanding of life and emotion; it absolutely astounded me how she effortlessly conveyed the complex relationship between love and indifference, science and religion, desire and propriety. She illustrates wonderfully how humans are so quick to be superstitious, that we react so perfectly to fear and expect either faith or science to solve it. In a time when science was emerging and pitting itself against religion, she designs an interesting relationship between the two and I believe she portrays both at their best and worst, yet is fair about it.
I resonated with both William Ransome and Cora Seaborne; Cora desires to be outdoors, exploring, getting dirty hands and muddy hems; she is determined to prove herself as independent and wilful. William Ransome is happy to quietly tend his small parish, whose life is simple until he is rudely awoken from his peace by Cora blustering in from London. Will is a beautiful character, intrigued by Cora, and faithful to his deep rooted belief in something greater than himself. No character is above fallacy, yet somehow their failings make them more extraordinary. Friendship is the glory of this story; it comes in all shapes and sizes, it makes people better and harrows them to their core.
It is a thoughtful story, I would recommend it to anyone looking for something to make them ponder and wonder, to make them look at life in all is rawness and splendour.