You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

The Essex Serpent
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Group Themed Reads: Discussions > March 2018 - The Essex Serpent

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message 1: by Sarah, Moderator (last edited Mar 01, 2018 07:28AM) (new)

Sarah | 17957 comments One of the group reads for March is The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry. Please discuss the book in this thread.

Janice will be leading the discussion.

In order to receive a badge you must:
1. have completed the book before or during March 2018.
2. discussed it in this thread. Discussion must be more than "I read the book and I liked it". Discussion requires something more substantial and analytical of what you read, for example, thoughts, opinions, impact it had on you, what was your favourite part, was it what you expected it to be like etc. You may also like to review the book and post a link to the review in this thread. Please refer to our group spoiler policy for further information.
3. Report that you have read AND discussed the book in the reporting thread (include a brief summary of what you thought of the book).

General Rules:
1. Please mark your spoilers with the spoiler tags along with mentioning what stage of the book you are at so other's don't get a nasty shock. Chapter numbers/titles are generally best as they are the same across all formats and editions. See our spoiler policy
2. The book may be combined with the Year Long Challenge, Topplers, and Monthly Challenges.

Happy reading!


message 2: by Peggy, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Peggy (pebbles84) | 14114 comments I will read this one. I ordered the book 1-2 weeks ago from the UK, I hope it arrives soon.


message 3: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments Since I'm leading the discussion, I thought I'd better dive right in, (view spoiler)

Prologue - very atmospheric. I've never read this author before and I'm drawn in by her poetic writing. "... the gulls lift off one by one, and the last gives a scream of dismay." Can't you just hear the scream from the gull? And where is this story leading? (view spoiler)

January - (view spoiler)


message 4: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2603 comments I read this one in 2017. I will probably reread at least parts of it to be better able to discuss it. As I finished it the first time, I felt like maybe there was more to it than I picked up the first time. I spent a lot of my reading energy on just trying to keep the characters straight. Reading it again would allow me to focus more on the ideas in the book.


message 5: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra (sanlema) | 8849 comments It is waiting for me at the library desk. Now I only need to find time to read it.


message 6: by Peggy, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Peggy (pebbles84) | 14114 comments My copy arrived today! I'm very happy, it's a beautiful brand new looking hardcover with an extra paper cover and I ordered it second hand for only 89 cents and 3 euros shipping!

I have a buddy read coming up first, but I'll start this one right after.


message 7: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments I tried to read a bit in bed last night, but will have to re-read it. Doze-reading doesn't work all that well for generating discussion.


TrudyAn | 1553 comments I’m at the end of chapter 2. I’m enjoying the character development and the gloomy (and muddy!) atmosphere the writer has created. Plot-wise, (view spoiler)


message 9: by Janice, Moderator (last edited Mar 03, 2018 12:15PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments I finished February, chapter 1.

At this point, I'm wondering how this chapter furthers the story. (view spoiler)


message 10: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments TrudyAn wrote: "I’m at the end of chapter 2. I’m enjoying the character development and the gloomy (and muddy!) atmosphere the writer has created. Plot-wise, [spoilers removed]"

Trudy, how is your book divided? Mine is by month. The months are divided by 4 parts, and each month may have more than one chapter. Are you listening to the audiobook?


message 11: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2603 comments From my prior reading, I remember that the story developed very gradually. You learn things in the beginning that will matter later on, but that may not seem significant when you first encounter them.


message 12: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments I shall pay attention then, Casceil. That happened in my last book. I wondered why they told the same fairy tale twice, but I didn't pay attention.


message 13: by TrudyAn (last edited Mar 03, 2018 01:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

TrudyAn | 1553 comments Janice wrote: "Trudy, how is your book divided? Mine is by month. The months are divided by 4 parts, and each month may have more than one chapter. Are you listening to the audiobook?"
Sorry, I should have said at end of March, ch 2. I am now at the end of May, ch 2 (page 186 of my paperback edition).

As I read further, I am liking this book more and more. It is definitely a character driven novel. (view spoiler)


TrudyAn | 1553 comments Casceil wrote: "From my prior reading, I remember that the story developed very gradually. You learn things in the beginning that will matter later on, but that may not seem significant when you first encounter them."

I like that! I hope my memory for detail doesn’t fail me.


message 15: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments Thanks Trudy.

I'll have to come back and read your spoiler since you're further ahead than me.


TrudyAn | 1553 comments I’m at the end of June, ch 2. (view spoiler)


message 17: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments I finished February, Chapter 2

(view spoiler)


TrudyAn | 1553 comments Janice wrote: "I finished February, Chapter 2 [spoilers removed]"

I know nothing of (view spoiler)


message 19: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments TrudyAn wrote: "Janice wrote: "I finished February, Chapter 2 [spoilers removed]"

I know nothing of [spoilers removed]"


I heard that both books, Remarkable Creatures and Curiosity, were complimentary to each other. They have different styles and POV's, but you should get the same story.


message 20: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments I finished March, Chapter 3

February - (view spoiler)

March - (view spoiler)


TrudyAn | 1553 comments I’ve come to the end of this beautifully written book.

(view spoiler)

My version of the book has one of the more beautiful covers I’ve seen recently. This was a four star read for me.


message 22: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments You zipped right through, Trudy. I haven't even caught up to your first spoilers.


message 23: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2603 comments I've started rereading the book. I am enjoying it more the second time through. I am reading the "February" chapter now. I had forgotten how creepy Francis is. (view spoiler)


Silver | 413 comments Febuary ch 1-4

(view spoiler)


message 25: by Casceil (last edited Mar 06, 2018 06:16PM) (new)

Casceil | 2603 comments Cora is an interesting character. She is described as very changeable, "Intelligent charm that could be turned on and off like the bathroom tap." Or this description: "Infuriated and entranced, Martha found that no sooner had she grown accustomed to one Cora, another would emerge: one moment a girl who seemed a student overpleased with her own intelligence, the next a friend of long years’ intimacy; a woman giving suppers of stylish extravagance, who’d swear once the last guest was gone, take down her hair, and sprawl laughing beside the fire."

Perry, Sarah. The Essex Serpent: A Novel (p. 26). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.


message 26: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments Casceil wrote: "I've started rereading the book. I am enjoying it more the second time through. I am reading the "February" chapter now. I had forgotten how creepy Francis is. "

I must have been doze reading this at that section. (view spoiler)


message 27: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments Silver wrote: "Febuary ch 1-4..."

There is definitely a gothic feel to it. Maybe that's why it appeals to me.


message 28: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments Casceil wrote: "Cora is an interesting character. She is described as very changeable, "Intelligent charm that could be turned on and off like the bathroom tap." Or this description: "Infuriated and entranced, Mar..."

Do you think that Cora (view spoiler)


TrudyAn | 1553 comments I think Cora was (view spoiler).


message 30: by Silver (last edited Mar 07, 2018 05:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Silver | 413 comments February ch. 5

(view spoiler)


message 31: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments I have finished to the end of May, chapter 5

April - (view spoiler)

May, chapter 1 - (view spoiler)

May, chapter 2 - (view spoiler)

May, chapter 3 - (view spoiler)

May, chapter 4 - (view spoiler)

May, chapter 5 - (view spoiler)


message 32: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments I've finished to the end of June, chapter 3

(view spoiler)


message 33: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments TrudyAn wrote: "I’m at the end of June, ch 2. ."

I echo your sentiments, Trudy. (view spoiler)


message 34: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2603 comments Janice, in answer to your question in message 28, (view spoiler)
I've been distracted from this book by a new release, but I should be getting back to it soon. The new Patricia Briggs Alpha and Omega book, Burn Bright came out Tuesday.


message 35: by Peggy, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Peggy (pebbles84) | 14114 comments Pfew, you've been active! So much to catch up on. I'll start the book after the weekend.


message 36: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments That makes sense, Casceil.


message 37: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra (sanlema) | 8849 comments I wasn't sure about starting this one when I am done with The Chalk Man, but if you are around May, I think I can join and, if not catch up, at least follow close. :)


message 38: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments Sandra wrote: "I wasn't sure about starting this one when I am done with The Chalk Man, but if you are around May, I think I can join and, if not catch up, at least follow close. :)"

I've just started July, but you can join in anytime with no need to catch up. :)

If someone is ahead of me in the book, I'll make a note of the message number and location in the story so that I can come back and read the spoilers when I'm at that part of the book.


message 39: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments I've read to the end of July.


June, chapter 4 - (view spoiler)

Junes, chapter 5 - (view spoiler)

July - (view spoiler)


message 40: by Sandra (new) - added it

Sandra (sanlema) | 8849 comments That's a good way, Janice. I usually scroll the whole thread from time to time to read spoilers I couldn't read before. But your way is better specially for very active discussions.


message 41: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments I use the sticky notes app and leave it open on my desktop. Once the discussion is finished, I discard it.


message 42: by Casceil (new)

Casceil | 2603 comments I have finished April and most of May. April (view spoiler)


message 43: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments Casceil wrote: "I have finished April and most of May. April [spoilers removed]"

That would have been (view spoiler)


TrudyAn | 1553 comments Casceil wrote: "I have finished April and most of May. April [spoilers removed]"

(view spoiler)


message 45: by TrudyAn (last edited Mar 10, 2018 09:27PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

TrudyAn | 1553 comments Janice wrote: "I've read to the end of July.


June, chapter 4 - [spoilers removed]

Junes, chapter 5 - [spoilers removed]"


(view spoiler)


message 46: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments TrudyAn wrote: "Janice wrote: "I've read to the end of July.
.."


Trudy, could you edit your message to remove my July spoiler, please?


message 47: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments Have you read The Birth House? It's by a Canadian author and set in Canada. It's historical fiction of women that paved the way. It was a long time ago that I read it, but it has stayed with me.


TrudyAn | 1553 comments Janice wrote: "TrudyAn wrote: "Janice wrote: "I've read to the end of July.
.."

Trudy, could you edit your message to remove my July spoiler, please?"


Oops, fixed!


TrudyAn | 1553 comments Janice wrote: "Have you read The Birth House? It's by a Canadian author and set in Canada. It's historical fiction of women that paved the way. It was a long time ago that I read it, but it has stay..."

I haven’t read it, and it seems I even owned a copy at one time. I’ve added it to my TBR list, bonus that it’s by a Canadian writer.


message 50: by Janice, Moderator (new) - rated it 4 stars

Janice (jamasc) | 44867 comments I've read to the end of September, chapter 6.

August, chapter 1 - (view spoiler)

August, chapter 2 including letters - (view spoiler)

September, chapter 2 - (view spoiler)

September, chapter 3 - (view spoiler)

September, chapter 5 - (view spoiler)

September, chapter 6 - (view spoiler)

I hope to finish the book tonight. I've been in Essex for too long.


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