First Impression Friday- Melmoth

First Impression Friday is hosted by J.W. Martin.

First Impression Friday will be a meme where you talk about a book that you JUST STARTED! Maybe you’re only a chapter or two in, maybe a little farther.

Based on this sampling of your current read, give a few impressions and predict what you’ll think by the end.

Melmoth by Sarah Perry


It has been years since Helen Franklin left England. In Prague, working as a translator, she has found a home of sorts—or, at least, refuge. That changes when her friend Karel discovers a mysterious letter in the library, a strange confession and a curious warning that speaks of Melmoth the Witness, a dark legend found in obscure fairy tales and antique village lore. As such superstition has it, Melmoth travels through the ages, dooming those she persuades to join her to a damnation of timeless, itinerant solitude. To Helen it all seems the stuff of unenlightened fantasy.

But, unaware, as she wanders the cobblestone streets Helen is being watched. And then Karel disappears. . . .

As of writing, I am about fifty pages into Melmoth and I am just starting to find my footing. I remember having the same trouble with Sarah Perry’s first novel, The Essex Serpent, where it took me a few chapters to get a handle on her writing style. In the end, it became a favourite, and there is potential for the same thing to happen with Melmoth.

Melmoth already feels a lot darker than The Essex Serpent, and I really appreciate that. Things are slowing unraveling and who/what Melmoth is has just been revealed to me. I am intrigued to say the least! I can not wait to see how the story plays out. I am blown away by just how clever Sarah Perry is. I have high hopes that this book will give me all of the Gothic/mysterious vibes that I am currently in the mood for.

I know that Melmoth is the kind of book that will not be for everyone, as made evident by the reviews on Goodread, but there is something about Gothic horror that appeals to me. I predict I will end up rating this book 4 stars or higher!

This has nothing to do with the story itself but I just have to point out how gorgeous the cover is! Whoever designs the covers for Perry’s novels is incredibly talented. You have to see this one in person in order to fully appreciate it!


Have you read Melmoth, or any of Sarah Perry’s work? If you have any Gothic fiction recommendations I would love to hear them!


8 thoughts on “First Impression Friday- Melmoth

  1. Gosh that cover is just plain gorgeous! So is ‘The Essex Serpent’s’ too. I think I may have to pick one of her books up this fall. They seem to have that perfect atmosphere.

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