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This story is very character driven. Its mostly about what our characters were thinking about and what they were motivated by. And I will say that they are extremely interesting and likeable. Actually, our heroine wasn't my favorite character if I'm honest. The Essex Serpent is there through most of the book though!
I've read some comments about the narrator. Myself, I think she's a very talented narrator and enjoyed the listen very much. I did have to bump up the speed a bit. I think 'they' slow down the playback sometimes for some reason; excellent voices for all different characters. I will make the observation that perhaps one shouldn't go from a whisper to an actual shout unless doing a live reading. I believe a simulated shout is sufficient for audiobooks.
I enjoyed the book very much.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Wow! This is a terrific book, but very dense and full of lushly written descriptions, which might not be everyone's style. I've tried three times to write a decent summary in a few sentences, but I can't. There's really so much to unpack from a story that takes place during 10 or 11 months in late 19th Century England. The character of love and friendship, the differences of reason and faith (“We both speak of illuminating the world, but we have different sources of light"), the limits and restrictions on women, the growth of science and medicine, and the Essex Serpent as a symbol of myth, medicine, temptation, sex, or a punishment for sinfulness. I also loved the characters, especially the women who were all great in their own ways. Cora is a woman after my own heart, with love to share and endless curiosity and wonder; looking to create her own path and find her own happiness:
"Sometimes I think I sold my soul, so that I could live as I must. Oh, I don’t mean without morals or conscience—I only mean with freedom to think the thoughts that come, to send them where I want them to go, not to let them run along tracks someone else set, leading only this way or that…"
3 of 3 people found this review helpful