Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent has been one of my top books of this year, so I chose this book as it is her first and previous novel. It is very different and I don't know how I would have felt about it had I read it first. Set in a timeless present, the book is strong on atmosphere: light and nature dominate, just as they do in The Essex Serpent. The plot is odd. It feels like a mystery but half way through when much is explained I felt my attention wane. Having said that, I carried on and became caught up in it once more; the characters have stayed with me just as the book as a whole remains lingering in my mind. I suspect I was not quite in the right frame of mind for it at the time of reading - sometimes snatching the odd 20 minutes of reading on a tube journey is not the right thing. The book is set in a heatwave, but I would recommend it as an autumn/winter read when you can give it full attention. It will reward you.