Books like The Essex Serpent

Design by Michael Stillwell

Adapting a best-selling book into a movie or TV show can easily turn out to be a hit or a miss, but Apple TV+ seems to have succeeded in making Sarah Perry’s best-selling novel. The Essex Serpent in a series. Set in Victorian England, the Gothic storyline follows London widow Cora Seaborne (played by Claire Danes) who moves to Essex to investigate reports of a mythical snake. There, the main character meets the village pastor, Will Ransome (played by Tom Hiddleston), and the two become entangled in an emotional affair. But when disaster strikes, things change and the locals accuse Cora of attracting the sea creature.

If you’ve already read Perry’s book or started watching the new series, and you like the plot and characters, then you’ve come to the right place. With summer just around the corner, there’s no better time to load up on page turners to read on the beach. Here, the best goth books to sink your teeth into if you can’t get enough The Essex Serpent


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After me comes the flood: a novel

Fans of The Essex Serpent will also love Perry’s debut novel, After me comes the flood† The story follows John Cole, owner of a bookshop in London, who finds himself in a dilapidated house after his car breaks down on the side of a remote road. As he approaches, a smiling woman he has never met addresses him by name and reveals that she has been waiting for him. Entering the house, John encounters a mysterious group of residents, all of whom also claim to know who he is and have been waiting for him to arrive.

Also by Perry, Melmoth is loosely based on the Gothic book from 1820 Melmoth the Wanderer by Irish playwright Charles Maturin. In Perry’s version, Helen Franklin – an English translator living in Prague – is given a manuscript describing encounters with Melmoth the Witness, a mysterious woman in dark clothes who is doomed to roam the Earth, witnessing atrocities in humanity, after seeing the resurrection of Christ and denying it. As the story progresses, Helen begins to realize that Melmoth may be following her and is forced to face her demons literally.


The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock: A Novel

Thorndike Press large print

Bookworms won’t get enough of Imogen Hermes Gowar’s historical novel about Jonah Hancock – a prosperous merchant in 1780s London – whose life is turned upside down when he unexpectedly receives a dead mermaid. Not long after, Hancock finds himself in high society and meets Angelica Neal, a famous courtesan with whom he forms an unconventional romance. But as the plot progresses, the two encounter major obstacles in their love story, perhaps because of the mermaid’s power.


The Miniaturist: A Novel

Jessie Burton’s 2015 novel based on a true story is sure to fill your gaps Essex Hose-big hole in your summer reading list. Located in 17th century Amsterdam, the miniaturist follows 18-year-old Nella Oortman whose world is turned upside down after her new, distant husband, Johannes Brandt, presents her with a closet-sized replica of their house. As Nella begins delivering the gift – with the help of a miniaturist – she begins to uncover unusual secrets about her husband’s family and the dangers that lie ahead.


Remarkable Creatures: A Novel

If you appreciated the paleontology aspect in The Essex Serpentyou are going to love Remarkable Creatures† Based on real life events and people, Tracy Chevalier’s novel is set in 19th-century England and tells the story of the uneducated Mary Anning who discovers an unusual fossilized skeleton, shaking up the scientific community. When she befriends middle-class Elizabeth Philpot, who has her own passion for fossils, the two form an unlikely bond and face a series of obstacles, including sexism in a male-dominated society and long-held religious beliefs about extinction.

From the same author of the miniaturistThe Muse jumps back and forth between the 1930s in Spain and the 1960s in London and is about an unusual painting that turns up in a gallery. Throughout the story, Trinidadian Odelle Bastien, a typist who works at the said gallery, sets herself on a mission to learn more about the artwork and delve into the mystery of where it came from, who painted it and what eventually happened. with him.


Once upon a time there was a river: a novel

Atria/Emily Bestler Books

Once upon a time there was a river is another great book if you were a fan of The Essex Serpent† On a dark winter night by the River Thames, a wounded man staggers through an old inn with an unresponsive girl in his arms. Only later, the girl suddenly comes back to life, but is wordless, forcing the locals to try to solve the mystery of who she is. But when three families come forward to claim her as their daughter, things get complicated and their own secrets begin to unravel.


The Silent Companions: A Novel

Based in Victorian England, The silent companions follows the pregnant and newly widowed Else Bainbridge as she tries to navigate her life on her late husband’s crumbling estate. But as she explores the house, she finds old diaries and a silent companion, a painted wooden figure very much like herself. Though the residents of the estate are terrified of the figure, Elsie is determined to learn more about its origin and along the way uncovers a series of shocking family secrets.

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