The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry

Newly (happily) widowed Cora Seagrave heads to Essex with her maidservant, Martha, and her autistic son Francis. There she becomes entangled in the local mystery of the Essex serpent. This a novel about ideas “though its sensibility is firmly, consciously, even a little cheekily, gothic.” You will love Cora and Martha’s strength, humour and commitment to each other – at least I did.