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The Essex Serpent
“One for the holiday suitcase . . . expect to spot a copy on beach towels this summer.”—Vogue
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 an unhappy one. Seeking refuge in fresh air and open space, she departs for coastal Essex. Once there, they hear rumors that after nearly 300 years, the mythical Essex Serpent, a fearsome creature that once roamed the marshes, has returned. When a young man is mysteriously killed on New Year’s Eve, the community’s dread transforms to terror. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, is immediately enthralled, certain that what locals think is a magical sea beast may be a previously undiscovered species. Local parish vicar William Ransome is equally suspicious but for different reasons: a man of faith, he is convinced the alarming reports are caused by moral panic, a flight from the correct and righteous path. As Cora and William attempt to discover the truth about the Essex Serpent, they find themselves inexorably drawn together in an intense relationship that will change both of them in ways entirely unexpected. And as they search for answers, Cora’s London past follows her to the coast, with striking consequences.
Publish Date: 06/06/2017
ISBN: 9780062666376, 0062666371