Friday FriYay: 'Melmoth' by Sarah Perry

The cover of Melmoth by Sarah Perry, featuring a design of golden feathers and leaves.
It's time for some blog-hopping, wouldn't you say? I myself am killing time before an exam in two hours, a Paleography exam to be precise. I think that as I type this the nerves are growing but what better way to soothe myself than to go see what you guys are reading? Today I'm sharing my post-exam/weekend read: Melmoth by Sarah Perry, of The Essex Serpent-fame.

Oh friend, take my hand - I've been so lonely!

One winter night in Prague, Helen Franklin encounters her friend Karel, half-mad with fear.

He has come into possession of a mysterious old manuscript, filled with testimonies that speak to Helen from 17th-century England, wartime Czechoslovakia, the sweat-soaked streets of Manila and 1920's Turkey. All of them tell of being followed by a tall, silent woman in black, bearing a terrible message.

Helen reads its contents with intrigue, but everything in her life is about to change.

Banner for the Book Beginnings meme, hosted by Rose City Reader.
On Fridays we go to Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader, hosted by Gilion Dumas, and Friday 56 at Freda's Voice, hosted by Freda. I'll also be joining the Book Blog Hop, hosted by Charlie over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.


"J.A. Hoffman
c/o The National Library of the Czech Republic

December 2016

My dear Dr Prazan - 

How deeply I regret that I must put this document in your hands, and so make you the witness to what I have done!"  p.1

I'd say this is technically something of a prologue, with Part 1 starting on the next page, but I love the official feel of it. Any book that starts with a letter hinting at something horrible is a win in my... book.

The Banner for Friday 56, hosted by Freda's Voice.


"She never intended this - cannot recall, when plotting how to expiate her guilt, how best to achieve redemption; does not remember having said: 'I will take no joy in food, merely let myself live.'"  p.56

I'm fascinated by this sentence, the way it runs on and stop, then continues. It's almost as if the dash, commas, semi-colon and colons are following the action of the silent woman mentioned in the blurb. It reads like a never-ending thought, something that keeps going. I might be reading into this too much but now I can't wait to get started with this book!

Today's Book Blog Hop question, submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews, is:

Do you share books? If so, do you have a system to keep track of whom you lend books to? 

The banner for the Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee-Addicted WriterAbsolutely, yes! Technically I'm utterly possessive of my books, like a pacifist dragon with their hoard. But there is nothing I love more than shoving a book into someone's hand and see them come back a few days later, eyes bright, full of questions and comments and thoughts. My favourite story of this is probably my experience with Normal People by Sally Rooney. We were going to read it for a book club at work, when I still lived in Shanghai, and I was bowled over by how much I loved it. So I had a colleague read it, who was skeptical but very open. He loved it. From there it spread. I asked each of them to write their names in the book, almost like an impromptu library loan list, and I have about ten names in there at the moment. I love that this book is now a physical reminder of how we all came together over this story and discussed it.

I don't really have a system for lending or keeping track of books, since usually everyone is pretty good about getting the books back to me. And I know what it's like to have a book right there and yet not get around to reading it, so I also don't tend to push those who've borrowed them. Get it back to me when you can! (This is why I only loan out books I have already read though!) I also don't have a lot of other rules, since I'm not the biggest fan of keeping my books pristine. I like it when books look loved.

What are you reading? And can you stomach parting with your books?


  1. Fascinating excerpts. Love the cover.

    I don't lend my books out, because my friends sometimes lose them. I don't keep books these days unless they are part of a series or by an author I especially enjoy, so that's why it irks me when they don't come back.

  2. I do like the writing style of the excerpts. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  3. I get a magical, lyrical feeling from the excerpts. Knowing the author wrote The Essex Serpent, I would definitely read on.

  4. I don't think I've ever seen an author do so much with punctuation alone. It's fascinating.

    As for sharing books, I usually donate. The one exception was "Where the Crawdads Sing", which my family is passing around. I wish I had thought about having everyone sign, or better yet, leave a note with their thoughts.

    Good luck with your exam.

  5. Best of luck with your exam! I hope it goes well. I've seen Melmoth around but hadn't really looked much into it. I really love the snippets you shared, though! Think I'm going to have to check this one out. Enjoy your reading!

    Here's my Friday post.

  6. I'm to mean to lend them out but I can admit to you that I bend the spine and fold the page corner to bookmark it! Books should look loved.

  7. That's such a great beginning. It really makes me want to keep reading. Thanks for sharing! Hope you have an awesome weekend! :)

  8. Interesting snippets! I do hope you are loving it! Happy weekend!

  9. Those excerpts are really good. Hope you have a great weekend!

  10. I really like the look of this one. Thanks for sharing!

    Lauren @ Always Me

  11. Wow. This sounds almost hert-stopping. Hope you enjoy it. My book is Writers and Lovers

  12. I hope your exam went well! I really want to read The Essex Serpent and Melmoth is on my list to read as well. The excerpts you shared make me want to read it even more. It sounds so good!

    You've got a great attitude about loaning out your books. I am not as picky about books coming back to me in pristine condition either--although good condition is a plus. I expect a little wear and tear from reading. My biggest issue is the book not being returned, and I've been burned enough times that I prefer to only loan out books I am willing to lose. I really don't loan out books that often though--other than my mom (who lives out of town) or my husband--I don't have many people to loan books out to. Most of my in-person reader friends do not read the same types of books I read.

    I hope you have a great week!


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