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Alien - reading

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

I'm absolutely clueless as to what I could possibly say about this brilliant book that would do it any kind of justice at all. Let's see, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters...

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Well. Read it. Just read it. More? Okay, well it's about Sue Trinder who was brought up in the mid-eighteen hundreds by petty thieves in The Borough, in London. But it's also about Maud Lilly who spent her first eleven years being brought up by nurses in a lunatic asylum and then goes to live with her uncle where she becomes a tool for reading a certain sort of book to 'gentlemen'. The story deals with how their lives become entwined. I'll say no more than that, partly because the tale has more twists and layers than spaghetti junction and I could not do it justice, but also it would spoil it as the joy of this book is its twists, imo. I didn't see any of them coming - not a one. The other joy of this book is the fabulous writing and the way the author captures so completely the tone of those times, the squalor, the appalling cruelty, a woman's lack of power over her circumstances and future and so forth. I can't find any fault with this novel, I really can't. Read it.

I'd be interested to know what Waters' two previous novels are like. (I've seen reviews for the latest.) I checked on Amazon and liked the sound of Affinity though Tipping the Velvet is probably more famous I would say. Anyone got any thoughts? Amazon marketplace has it fairly cheap... *g*


I adore 'Fingersmith' - one of my favourite novels ever :-)

I liked 'Affinity', but it doesn't have the jaw-dropping twists of 'Fingersmith' and is lot darker/bleaker in tone.

'Tipping' I didn't much enjoy, I must admit. In particular there's a long middle section that didn't work at all for me. It's okay, but...didn't do it for me, really :-/
And I can quite see why it's one of your favourites as it's one of mine now too. I absolutely loved it.

Thanks for your views on the other two, I'll give both of them a go I think, maybe see if the library has got them. Then if I like them I can nab a copy off AM or eBay.
I knew you'd like it... ;)

You seem to have got my reading tastes off pat. I shall do that thing and get Tipping the Velvet as my next SW read then.
I read Tipping the Velvet first of all Sarah Waters' books, and without having ever seen the television series which was on while I was away, and I absolutely loved it. I'd say I liked Fingersmith next-best, and Affinity after that, but there was a lovely feel to Tipping somehow...

Another book I read around the time, following on from my Waters session, was Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue, which is just wonderful...
I never saw the TV series of Tipping the Velvet so the book will be completely fresh to me. General opinion seems to be that that's the one to go for next so I shall do that.

Ah, now I've heard of Slammerkin so have made a note of that and will go and investigate in a mo. Thanks for the rec.
I have this book, in fact I have all of hers (all, as yet, unread ::sigh::) It appears as though it's going to get bumped up the 'to read' list.
I think you'll it's worth bumping it up. goodnightlady is very good at nagging positive encouragement. ;-)
Well, I have just finished a book, so it's a toss up between one of the books a certain, lovely, lady from Devon bought me for my birthday; the book that this same lovely lady sent me recently; or the one you mention above.

Hmmm, notice a pattern in the person involved in all three choices?
Catching up on a few back comments.

Hmmm, notice a pattern in the person involved in all three choices?

Yes, well... there does seem to be a certain person common to all, hmm? ;-) Which did you go for in the end?
Yes, well... there does seem to be a certain person common to all, hmm? ;-)


Which did you go for in the end?

Ah, I've been wondering if you'd ask this. Well now . . . You see . . . It's like this. It was going to be Fingersmith. So I find which bookcase I'd put it on, nearly fall over trying to get it out (it's on the bottom shelf), see it and reach for it, and actually pull out a completely different book (which must have been on top of it). A book that I have no memory of buying, or putting away! So I decided that it was telling me that I should read that. So I am. Fingersmith did eventually find its way into my hand, so I shall read that one after the 'mystery' book!
I've read all four of her books, and I like Fingersmith the best, but they are all definitely worth reading. I think they all do a very good job of capturing a time period, while focusing on people (lesbians) who weren't represented in the literature of the time. Tipping the Velvet has a lot of sex scenes, which some people find gratuitous, but I rather liked. :) Affinity is a lot bleaker and darker than the others, as folks upthread have said.
I wasn't expecting the wonderful job she did of capturing the period. And it's one of my favourite periods so that was a plus too. I'm not the sort of person who finds sex scenes gratuitous - well, not often anyway. ;-) So, I'll get hold of Tipping the Velvet next I think - well, next of her books, I'll read some other stuff first. Thanks for your input.