This Victorian literary novel set between London and Essex follows the life of widowed Cora Seaborne, her young son and companion, Martha. Freed from the bondage of marriage to a cruel man Cora rediscover her passions and interest whilst side-stepping the quicksand that may lead her back to the tilted cage of marriage. When she moves to Colchester she is regaled by tales of a huge sea creature with wings rumoured to be haunting a small village. She decides to make her own investigations out of her avid interest in natural history and finds much to unsettle her, as well as friendship and acceptance.
Beyond any doubt this is probably one of the most beautifully written books I have ever read and although I found it a little difficult to get into in the first fifth of the book, I was engrossed by the time I got to halfway through. I loved the characters in the book and their complex intersection I was totally blown away with the science verses religion argument of the day and the hypothesising that science and faith need not be mutually exclusive.
This is not a work of fiction that can be easily pulled off by many authors and I am in awe of the author’s understanding of human nature and the fears of the time, which may not be all that different to our fears of today. A worthwhile read that I wholeheartedly recommend.
Links To Book: