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3.8 out of 5
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    Read it to think about the big ques

    In many ways this book is a psychological story with distinctly Victorian historical influences. The minister’s faith lasts through Darwin and Marx. The widow Cora is deciding what life is about. Her companion Martha is giving up a personal life for social justice. The Essex Serpent which perches over the novel is different things to different people. When the truth is discovered, only the superstitious are comforted because it’s symbolic of the end of the life where only physical monsters are to be feared. For the other characters, life goes on with the same uncertainty about the future in the Victorian era where the times are a-changing, but class, personal, gender, and personal prejudices still have to be worked out. Where will they find happiness?

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