Fingersmith by Sarah WatersIf I were stranded on a desert island and I only had one book it would be Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

I adore this book. Sarah Waters did a beautiful job of weaving an intricate story with great characters and enough heart stopping angst to keep me up through the night reading.

London in 1862 – Sue Trinder is an orphan who grows up among petty thieves (fingersmiths).

Maud is born into a wealthy family. She works with her uncle on documenting his collection of books.

One evening Gentleman enlists Sue’s help and proposes a scam to get hold of Maud’s money. Sue is to play Maud’s maid and help her realise that she is in love her painting teacher, Gentleman.

Gentleman will then propose to Maude, they will marry and he will be rich.

But, things are not as they seem. The novel is full of twists and turns that keep you guessing.

It kept me reading in a grip that would not let me put it down.

The Characters

Great characters and amazing transitions between the narrators.

The Writing Style

Waters writes extremely well. This is a long book and I couldn’t put it down. Her language use is beautiful, her descriptions are spot on and I felt like I was right there.

The Pros

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters is a magnificent read. Go get it.

The Cons

The BBC made a terrible version of it for TV. So sad when they did such a stunning job of turning Tipping the Velvet into a miniseries.

Sheena's favourite novels - reviewed on TheLesbianReview.comThe Conclusion

Read it. Just do.

Excerpt from Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

My name, in those days, was Susan Trinder. People called me Sue. I noe the year I was born in, but for many years I did not know the date, and took my birthday at Christmas. I believe I am an orphan. My mother I know is dead. But I never saw her, she was nothing to me. I was Mrs Sucksby’s child, if I was anyone’s; and for father I had Mr Ibbs, who kept the locksmith’s shop, at Lant Street, in the Borough, near to the Thames.

This is the first time I remember thinking about the world and my place in it.

There was a girl names Flora, who paid Mrs Sucksby a penny to take me begging at a play. People used to like to take me begging then, for the sake of my bright hair; and Flora being so very fair, she would pass me off as her sister. The Theatre she took me to, on the night I am thinking of now, was the Surrey, St George’s Circus. The play was Oliver Twist. I remember it as very terrible. I remember the tilt of the gallery, and the drop to the pit. I remember a drunken woman catching at the ribbons of my dress. I remember the flares, that made the stage very lurid; and the roaring of the actors, the shrieking of the crowd.

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Book Details

ISBN number: 9781573229722

Publisher: Riverhead Books, Virago Press

Sarah Waters Online


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