Enlightenment: A Novel (Hardcover)

Enlightenment: A Novel By Sarah Perry Cover Image
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Description


“Like A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Enlightenment is a baroque, genre-bending novel of ideas, ghosts and hidden histories. A richly layered epic....a heartfelt paean to the consolations of the sublime, where religion and science meet." -- Telegraph

"Read it, then read it again. This is a book full of unexpected wonders." -- Literary Review

From the author of The Essex Serpent, a dazzling novel of love and astronomy told over the course of twenty years through the lives of two improbable best friends.

Thomas Hart and Grace Macaulay have lived all their lives in the small Essex town of Aldleigh. Though separated in age by three decades, the pair are kindred spirits—torn between their commitment to religion and their desire to explore the world beyond their small Baptist community.

It is two romantic relationships that will rend their friendship, and in the wake of this rupture, Thomas develops an obsession with a vanished nineteenth-century astronomer said to haunt a nearby manor, and Grace flees Aldleigh entirely for London. Over the course of twenty years, by coincidence and design, Thomas and Grace will find their lives brought back into orbit as the mystery of the vanished astronomer unfolds into a devastating tale of love and scientific pursuit. Thomas and Grace will ask themselves what it means to love and be loved, what is fixed and what is mutable, how much of our fate is predestined and written in the stars, and whether they can find their way back to each other.

A thrillingly ambitious novel of friendship, faith, and unrequited love, rich in symmetry and symbolism, Enlightenment is a shimmering wonder of a book and Sarah Perry’s finest work to date. 

About the Author


Sarah Perry is the internationally bestselling author of The Essex Serpent, Melmoth, and After Me Comes the Flood. She lives in England.

Praise For…


"An absorbing and affecting narrative of emotional turmoil and astronomical discovery...Ms. Perry’s characters—and this circumscribed place—are so convincingly and subtly drawn that no plot twist seems outlandish and no sentiment hackneyed." — Wall Street Journal

"Enchanting...Perry magnificently evokes the wonder of the cosmos." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Perry seamlessly blends an absorbing mystery with her principal characters’ personal conflicts to create a narrative as propulsive as it is emotionally resonant." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Stunning...Perry’s shimmering prose draws readers gradually into the story, until suddenly, we are captivated by the rich, psychologically complex, and intimate characters as they grapple philosophically with issues of faith, religion, science, astronomy, and love in all its guises. Most impressive are Perry's command of language and the extensive knowledge of astronomy and physics that she nimbly incorporates into the narrative. With brilliant storytelling, Perry’s novel of dichotomies portrays how elliptical our lives are—very much like the movement of the stars." — Booklist (starred review)

"Many of Perry’s sentences are startlingly beautiful, creating an atmospheric sense of set­ting and character....There’s a hint of the literary romance and mystery of A.S. Byatt’s Possession." — BookPage (starred review)

"A fat, satisfying, grown-up novel – rich in plot, characters, ideas, structure, and atmosphere. Most writers only really deliver on a few of those; in this book about astronomy, faith, and devotional love in all its forms, Perry leaves none behind." — Independent (UK)

"Extraordinary and ambitious...What Perry has done in this layered, intelligent and moving book is to construct a kind of quantum novel, one that asks us to question conventional linear narratives and recognise instead what is ever-present in Perry’s luminous vision of Essex: truth, beauty and love." — Guardian (UK)

"A rich, surprising book that dazzles and dizzies the reader...recalls...the erudition of AS Byatt, the ungovernable romances of Iris Murdoch." — Financial Times

Like A.S. Byatt’s Possession, Enlightenment is a baroque, genre-bending novel of ideas, ghosts and hidden histories. A richly layered epic....a heartfelt paean to the consolations of the sublime, where religion and science meet." — Telegraph (UK)

"No novel is ever perfect, but this one comes close. Read it, then read it again. This is a book full of unexpected wonders." — Literary Review

“A novel to relish: a work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author.” — Sarah Waters on The Essex Serpent

“A novel of almost insolent ambition—lush and fantastical, a wild Eden behind a garden gate...it’s part ghost story and part natural history lesson, part romance and part feminist parable. I found it so transporting that 48 hours after completing it, I was still resentful to be back home.” — New York Times on The Essex Serpent

“Richly enjoyable...Ms. Perry writes beautifully and sometimes agreeably sharply...The Essex Serpent is a wonderfully satisfying novel. Ford Madox Ford thought the glory of the novel was its ability to make the reader think and feel at the same time. This one does just that.” — Wall Street Journal

“The most delightful heroine since Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice…Perry creates that delicate illusion of the best historical fiction: an authentic sense of the past—its manners, ideals and speech—that feels simultaneously distant and relevant to us…By the end, The Essex Serpent identifies a mystery far greater than some creature ‘from the illuminated margins of a manuscript’: friendship.” — Washington Post



Product Details
ISBN: 9780063352612
ISBN-10: 0063352613
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Pages: 384
Language: English