Sarah Perry’s second novel, The Essex Serpent, has captivated those of us who have read it. Set against a vividly drawn backdrop of Victorian London and Essex, it is the story of Cora Seaborne, an educated and fiercely independent widow and William Ransome, an enlightened vicar whose parish is a small village on the Essex coast. It explodes with the conflicts of science and religion that lit up the era, and still resonate today. A joyous, generous and beguiling narrative, suffused with understated wisdom, which reads like a great Victorian novel and will stay with you long after you finish. An unmissable opportunity to hear a novelist who with her second book has already established herself as one of the finest novelists writing today.