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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'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.