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Sarah Perry Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

After Me Comes the Flood (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Essex Serpent (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Melmoth (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Enlightenment (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

After the Eclipse (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Essex Girls (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Sarah Perry is a bestselling English author born in Chelmsford, Essex in 1979 to a family of dedicated Christians. The author grew up with almost no access to culture, art, and writing and instead filled her time with classic novels, classical music, poetry and church related activities. Perry admits that her early involvement with the King James Bible and old literature highly influenced her writing style. She attained her Ph.D. in creative writing from Royal Holloway University. She has written some publications for the Guardian, Slightly Foxed, the Independent, and the Spectator. Perry became a published novelist in 2014 when her first novel After Me Comes the Flood was released. Her book two The Essex Serpent was published in 2016.

The author’s debut novel Serpents Tail published After Me Comes the Flood. The book received positive reviews globally from different reviewers including The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph. The book describes the story of John Cole who travels into a strange world while he’s heading to his brother’s house in the midst of a drought. John Burnside, an author for The Guardian, referred to the novel a remarkable and extraordinary debut.

Perry’s second book is The Essex Serpent. The author admitted that the story is mostly inspired by the myth of the sea-serpent. The book is well written in a gothic style and mainly explores the themes of friendship, goodness, love, and superstition. The novel again garnered positive reviews globally with John Burnside commenting it as one of the best Victorian novel ever written.

After Me Comes the Flood

During one hot summer, John Cole decides to bury the past behind him. He shuts his bookshop that never receives any customers and drives out of the city of London. However his car breaks down on a strange road, he goes around searching for help until he stumbles upon a ramshackle house. The house occupants welcome him well with open arms; however, there is more to this strange house than meets the eye. All the residents know him by name, and they have also set aside a room for him, and they claim that they have been expecting his visit for a very extended period.

As the days and nights pass by, John finds himself drawn into a perplexing collection of animals kept in captivity. The house residents include Alex and Claire, siblings full of child like delusions; Hester their leader, Elijah, a man who has lost his faith and constantly haunted by the bible; then there is the mercurial Eve and the Walker who is addicted to smoking. Who are these strange people? What do they intend to do with John?

After Me Comes, the Flood is an elegantly written psychologically complex and gently sinister story that will keep you guessing John’s fate until it is finally revealed in the last few pages. This debut novel from Sarah Perry is set in a remote country far away in Thetford Forest. Fleeing the daily activities of London, John decides to leave and visit his brother in Norfolk when his car radiator overheats leaving him stranded on a strange road. The narrative unfolds in seven days and features some intentional biblical resonance. The suspense and tension build up throughout the novel as John tries to figure the mysteries surrounding the old house and its residents.

The Essex Serpent

The Essex Serpent is a unique written work of historical fiction that will take you on an epic journey to the Victorian England in 1890’s. It features a cast of characters whose ideas, actions and attitudes are the best aspects of the novel. The book introduces Cora Seaborne, the main protagonist of this story. As the story kicks off, Cora is just starting her widowhood from a loveless marriage, and she adores her newly found freedom. Cora’s sharp and inquisitive mind becomes intrigued by the reports of the titular serpent, an unknown beast that has continually terrorized the residents of Essex. Accompanied by her son Francis and her loyal but stern companion Martha, Cora moves to Aldwinter to investigate the existence of this monster.

While at Aldwinter, she meets Reverend William Ransome, a vicar who is angered by effects of this mythical creature on his congregation. Luke Garrett, a surgeon who is openly in love with Cora and George Spencer a well behaved wealthy colleague visit Cora. However, Cora is convinced that the beast could be an unidentified species but Will see the parishioner’s anxiety as a moral panic and a deviation from the true faith. Although these two can agree on absolutely nothing and as the seasons change, they find themselves inevitably drawn together and also torn apart.

The mystery of the serpent existence in this novel is one of the most compelling aspects of this tale. The cast of characters in the story is well crafted, and their interaction is just fantastic. There is Cora, the lead character; she has a knack for investigation and abundance of intellectual curiosity. She is also friendly and easily familiarizes herself with new friends. While she has a dear companion Martha who she trusts the most, her son Francis and good friends like the likes of Dr. Luke the surgeon secretly in love with her, she is not connected to anyone by mind or spirit in a way that anyone recognizes.

The underlying premise of this narrative is a conflict between free thinks versus prudishness, superstitions, and science during the Victorian age. The small Essex village is in turmoil after some bizarre deaths of both animals and people on the shores of the Blackwaters. The two main characters are Cora, who has a scientific approach to the recent killings witnessed and on the other hand is Will, a parish rector. Their opposing perspective about the mysterious creature will keep you hooked from the first page to the last.

The in depth characterization in this novel will enable you to have a detailed understanding of the different characters and the reasons as to why the approach and perceive life differently. The author imagines the lives of each character so extensively such that you will find yourself comparing them to real life persons.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sarah Perry

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