The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry
Meeting at Keith and Mary’s on Tuesday 26th September at 7:45pm
‘The Essex earth had bucked as if trying to shake off all its towns and villages; for twenty seconds, no more, a series of convulsions that paused once as if breath were being drawn and then began again.’
Now and again, books fall across our path that for even us as booksellers suddenly underline the sheer brilliance of just what a novel can achieve. The Essex Serpent is just such a book, effortlessly skipping between genres and written with astonishingly acute clarity. Reading copies suddenly became as gold dust between staff, the surest sign that Sarah Perry’s second novel was indeed something rather special.
Set in 1893 and firmly rooted in the author’s home county of Essex, the novel centres on the character of Cora Seaborne, a widow freed from a controlling, unhappy marriage. Retreating to the Essex countryside with her son, she hears the rumours surrounding the so-called ‘Essex Serpent’, a creature of folklore being blamed for a spate of deaths and disturbances and the cause of escalating panic in the local community. Her ensuing investigations bring her into contact with a clergyman, William Ransome, a man convinced of finding the answer to local hysteria in faith, just as Cora is on finding it in science. Despite their differing opinions, their lives become ever-more enmeshed, finding themselves bound to each other in ways neither could anticipate.
‘Fertile, open, vocal about its own origins and passions, crammed with incident, characters and plot… narrative and voice coil together until it is very difficult to stop reading.’ – M John Harrison, The Guardian
Book after that:
Provisional meeting date of November 28th
Adults in the Room- My Battle with Europe’s Deep Establishment by Yanis Varoufakis
The story in this book is not only symbolic of what Europe, Britain and the United States are becoming; it also provides real insights into how and why our politics and social economies have fractured
In this blistering, personal account, world-famous economist Yanis Varoufakis blows the lid on Europe’s hidden agenda and exposes what actually goes on in its corridors of power. Varoufakis sparked one of the most spectacular and controversial battles in recent political history when, as finance minister of Greece, he attempted to re-negotiate his country’s relationship with the EU.
Despite the mass support of the Greek people and the simple logic of his arguments, he succeeded only in provoking the fury of Europe’s political, financial and media elites. But the true story of what happened is almost entirely unknown – not least because so much of the EU’s real business takes place behind closed doors.
In this fearless account, Varoufakis reveals all: an extraordinary tale of brinkmanship, hypocrisy, collusion and betrayal that will shake the deep establishment to its foundations. As is now clear, the same policies that required the tragic and brutal suppression of Greece’s democratic uprising have led directly to authoritarianism, populist revolt and instability throughout the Western world.
Adults In The Room is an urgent wake-up call to renew European democracy before it is too late.
‘In this book, then, Varoufakis gives one of the most accurate and detailed descriptions of modern power ever written.’ – The Guardian. ‘It is deeply personal and very well written’ – The FT
and possibly later in the year:
The Cut by Anthony Cartwright