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Fingersmith ➫ Fingersmith Read ➳ Author Sarah Waters – Thomashillier.co.uk Sue Trinder Is An Orphan, Left As An Infant In The Care Of Mrs Sucksby, A Baby Farmer, Who Raised Her With Unusual Tenderness, As If Sue Were Her Own Mrs Sucksby S Household, With Its Fussy Babies Cal Sue Trinder Is An Orphan, Left As An Infant In The Care Of Mrs Sucksby, A Baby Farmer, Who Raised Her With Unusual Tenderness, As If Sue Were Her Own Mrs Sucksby S Household, With Its Fussy Babies Calmed With Doses Of Gin, Also Hosts A Transient Family Of Petty Thieves Fingersmiths For Whom This House In The Heart Of A Mean London Slum Is HomeOne Day, The Most Beloved Thief Of All Arrives Gentleman, An Elegant Con Man, Who Carries With Him An Enticing Proposition For Sue If She Wins A Position As The Maid To Maud Lilly, A Na Ve Gentlewoman, And Aids Gentleman In Her Seduction, Then They Will All Share In Maud S Vast Inheritance Once The Inheritance Is Secured, Maud Will Be Disposed Of Passed Off As Mad, And Made To Live Out The Rest Of Her Days In A Lunatic AsylumWith Dreams Of Paying Back The Kindness Of Her Adopted Family, Sue Agrees To The Plan Once In, However, Sue Begins To Pity Her Helpless Mark And Care For Maud Lilly In Unexpected WaysBut No One And Nothing Is As It Seems In This Dickensian Novel Of Thrills And Reversals.


10 thoughts on “Fingersmith

  1. karen karen says:

    lesbian dickens now that i have your attention dana has been bugging me to write a review of this for the longest time, and now that she is on vacation and out of my path for ten minutes seriously the girl moved to my town just so she could stand under my window all night calling hey heyyy write a review for fingersmith come on, you know you want to every night.so, now that i have a little breathing room, i will do my best.it s true, i want her to read this i want everyone to re lesbian dickens now that i have your attention dana has been bugging me to write a review of this for the longest time, and now that she is on vacation and out of my path for ten minutes seriously the girl moved to my town just so she could stand under my window all night calling hey heyyy write a review for fingersmith come on, you know you want to every night.so, now that i have a little breathing room, i will do my best.it s true, i want her to read this i want everyone to read this sarah waters has some amazing strengths she creates well developed, complicated characters, she is a master at pacing, she can construct very tight, multi layered narratives where the next move is always surprising, and she recreates the victorian setting better than anyone else that i have read there is also a kickass mystery plot in here not a detective y whodunnit mystery, buttraditionally dickens collins family mystery with elements of mamet s house of games it is almost 600 pages of puppy shuddering bliss but be honest, i had you at lesbian dickens.sarah waters is an author i always break my save one book vow with her last two books, i had to buy the very day they came in, i slapped a do not disturb sign on my head and i just plowed through them in a matter of hours and then i felt that gutsick christmas midafternoon void where you look around and whimper hopefullyshe is that good and this is her at her very best.for me, the best aspect of the victorian is the marginalized, the liminal members of society and what they do to get by in this case, there is a young woman raised by a band of thieves a band of thieves who gets roped into perpetrating a pretty long con only to find herself in a love triangle and perhaps being conned herself.but i have said too much seriously this book is a genuine crowd pleaser, even though the obnoxious lady from last week dismissed it i don t want to sound fatuous, but i suppose i shall say it anyway this looks so middlebrow david, i am using your voice here to recreate, i hope you don t mind not that there s anything wrong with middlebrow , especially coming from a lady like this who proved that she had no idea what a 17 year old reluctant reader would be pleased to get as a gift and instead was imposing her own values on this poor girl shame, shame hey, kid hope you enjoy the journals of john evelyn a real page turner poor thingall i know is this is a truly enjoyable and memorable book,and my brows suit me perfectly hhmph.it s also like this


  2. Paul Bryant Paul Bryant says:

    This totally wonderful novel does exactly what the title says, it fingers your myth, it steals up on your soul and breathes down its neck and a shudder of pleasure is felt to the ends of all your extremities, your brain will wobble, your hair will vibrate strongly, and your eyebrows will be thrust up and down like energetic trampolining children as the intricate clockmaker plot fastens your eyes ravenously to every page draw the curtains, do not charge the mobile phone, tell your friends you h This totally wonderful novel does exactly what the title says, it fingers your myth, it steals up on your soul and breathes down its neck and a shudder of pleasure is felt to the ends of all your extremities, your brain will wobble, your hair will vibrate strongly, and your eyebrows will be thrust up and down like energetic trampolining children as the intricate clockmaker plot fastens your eyes ravenously to every page draw the curtains, do not charge the mobile phone, tell your friends you have gone to Tibet for three weeks, or Saskatchewan if that s less likely to make them worry If there s an earthquake or a revolution you won t notice In that way this book is close kin to The Quincunx and The Crimson Petal and the White I want to be buried with all these three novels So, you may know it s a Modern Victorian novel, which is a mini genre I love wantof, and you may also have heard that in this particular Modern Victorian lesbians are somehow involved It is true, but what isto the point is that a completely enthralling love story is portrayed, which happens to be between two women Five stars each the size of Sirius


  3. Violet wells Violet wells says:

    This novel, for me all pastiche, pasteboard and mirrors, really irritated me principally because I could have read two good novels in the time it took me to wade through it For a start it s way too long It s not like Waters is serving up any profound insights into human nature or casting her eye over a wide panorama of human life It s essentially a novel that traffics in pastiche plagiarism and is built on two startling plot twists and as such tailor made for the screen Waters overwrite This novel, for me all pastiche, pasteboard and mirrors, really irritated me principally because I could have read two good novels in the time it took me to wade through it For a start it s way too long It s not like Waters is serving up any profound insights into human nature or casting her eye over a wide panorama of human life It s essentially a novel that traffics in pastiche plagiarism and is built on two startling plot twists and as such tailor made for the screen Waters overwrites every single scene, always telling us far too much, always throwing yetwood on the fire which has the effect of continually tipping the emotional register close to melodrama Whenever a character is in the grip of an emotion it s like an entire orchestra strikes up operatic music The dialogue is often ham Victorian slapstick even the BBC couldn t rectify this She also endlessly repeats herself Doesn t help that to enable the plot twist she has to write the entire first part again from another perspective This is often the problem with plot twists they stifle all the blood out of the characters, they reduce characters to devices The plot of this novel straitjackets all the characters The men are pantomime villains They have no inner life Are simply wheeled on and off stage when required The women aren t much better They have to do what the plot requires them to do There s never a sense that their natural feeling is creating the plot Suspension of disbelief is impossible So much in this novel is preposterous that it s as far fetched as Harry Potter except this isn t a fantasy novel It quotes or pastiches most of popular Victorian literature Most notably The Woman in White But also, of course, Dickens and George Eliot Casaubon, the ogre of the library, is here compiling an inventory of pornographic literature On a good note it did make me again appreciate the brilliance of Dickens who could do great plot twists without sacrificing character development


  4. Emily May Emily May says:

    This is a Victorian murder mystery with a lesbian romance You will probably love it, but even if you don t, it s highly unlikely you will have read anything else quite like it.


  5. Steve Steve says:

    Pigeons and pearls Perceptions and palpability I d explain in detail, but that would spoil all the fun Instead, as elliptically as I can, I ll hint at their relevance with vague allusions Sue was an orphan in Victorian London, raised among thieves Despite the fact that in the hierarchy of larceny her lot were neverthan petite bourgeoisie, Sue s existence was not as Dickensian as it might have been Baby farmer Mrs Sucksby seemed to take a particular shine to Sue, andor less rai Pigeons and pearls Perceptions and palpability I d explain in detail, but that would spoil all the fun Instead, as elliptically as I can, I ll hint at their relevance with vague allusions Sue was an orphan in Victorian London, raised among thieves Despite the fact that in the hierarchy of larceny her lot were neverthan petite bourgeoisie, Sue s existence was not as Dickensian as it might have been Baby farmer Mrs Sucksby seemed to take a particular shine to Sue, andor less raised her as her own Then came a fateful day when Sue was 17 A gentleman of their acquaintance called on them with an intricate plan Mr Rivers, known to them simply as Gentleman, outlined his scheme to bilk a young lady the same age as Sue out of her inheritance Maud, the young target, lived in a declining but still functioning country estate with a reclusive uncle Sue was to pose as a lady s maid and bolster Gentleman s case for marrying Maud Sue would then get a cut of the money So you re pretty sure you know what I mean by pigeon, right As for pearl, you might imagine those shiny white things cast among swine, or, if you know Sarah Waters and her reputation for lesbian love stories, you might picture lustrous riches incarnal terms Part of what I like about this book is that, for reasons of reversed notions, I m forbidden to elaborate That means an easier review, benefitting you and me both.I can say that the book is broken into thirds Sue narrates the first part, Maud gets a turn to tell her side of the story in the second, and Sue takes over again at the end Keenly observed perceptions and perspectives are keys to making this work But then, things are not always as they seem As a rule, I like surprises, and Waters gives us some good ones After reaching critical mass, though, I began reading each scene suspicious ofTo be honest, it became a distraction.As for the palpability, you expect that from Victorian England, right Mind you, we re not talking about Mayfair here This is the seedier side, where the muck, the rough edges, and the hard feelings truly are palpable Separate from that, the rare moments of tenderness are also honestly felt As are the relationships, predicated on what each thinks she knows about the other at any given time I give Waters credit for making me think about surface relations, hidden agendas, andvisceral matters of the human heart.I suspect anyone who has read both this book as well as The Crimson Petal and the White is constitutionally incapable of avoiding comparison I know I can t For me, Crimson Petal gets the nod in the novel about fascinating women set in Victorian England run off It s unforgettable for its plot, characters and writing But this one shines, too The writing is vivid, the language is colorful even in the title fingersmith for pickpocket , the plot is engaging, and the emotions are, uh what was that word oh yeah, palpable


  6. Adina Adina says:

    It seems that Fingersmith is one of those books that people want to read but are not doing it for some reason I say this because I have 30 friends that added the title on their TBR shelf I was also one of them as I ve bought the paperback two years ago and I only convinced myself to read it now I do not regret finally taking the plunge and I recommend my friends to go ahead and do the same because it is worth it If the size is a deterrent than I can tell you that it does not feel like a 500 It seems that Fingersmith is one of those books that people want to read but are not doing it for some reason I say this because I have 30 friends that added the title on their TBR shelf I was also one of them as I ve bought the paperback two years ago and I only convinced myself to read it now I do not regret finally taking the plunge and I recommend my friends to go ahead and do the same because it is worth it If the size is a deterrent than I can tell you that it does not feel like a 500 pages door stopper Fingersmith is a novel that is strongly based on its plot so I will not say too much about it here Susan Tinder is an orphan raised by Ms Sucksby in Victorian London house of schemers and thieves One of the regular visitors to the house, Gentleman, makes Sue an offer she cannot refuse She is asked to help him relieve a young woman, Maud, of her fortune The young woman lives in a Gothic, secluded manor together with his strange uncle Gentleman secured a temporary job with the uncle and the plan is for Sue to become Maud s maid, help the thief seduce the young woman into marriage and after the fortune was secured to lock her in a mental hospital Do expect some crazy plot twists, some of them quite preposterous The book is structured in three parts, the first and last one narrated from Sue s POV and the middle one from Maud s Sarah Waters is a wonderful storyteller and she manages to perfectly recreate the atmosphere of Victorian London There is a bit of Dickens feel to this novel which drawn me eveninto the adventures of the two young women After reading this book I feel once again grateful that I live in this era and in a country where women have equal rights The thought that women could have been sent to a mental institution by their husbands if they did not behave feels so scary and unbelievable to me I read something similar in another book so this detail was probably not part of the author s imagination It was almost a 5 star for me but something was missing Maybe some of the plot twists were a bit inconceivable, maybe the story was a bit melodramatic Worth reading, nevertheless


  7. Cecily Cecily says:

    A tricky book to review, partly because it didn t live up to my possibly unfairly high hopes and partly because I m trying to write shorter, punchier reviews, but this was almost 600 pages long I have failedGreat ExpectationsWaters is an award winning historical novelist, who specialises in the Victorian period and lesbian protagonists This book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and her PhD thesis even covers a key subject of this book.I was expecting something l A tricky book to review, partly because it didn t live up to my possibly unfairly high hopes and partly because I m trying to write shorter, punchier reviews, but this was almost 600 pages long I have failedGreat ExpectationsWaters is an award winning historical novelist, who specialises in the Victorian period and lesbian protagonists This book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and her PhD thesis even covers a key subject of this book.I was expecting something like the wondrous sensuality of Michel Faber s The Crimson Petal and the White, in terms of atmosphere, writing and to some extent, content another dirty Dickens Unfortunately, it fell short It s not a bad book, but nowhere near as rich or enjoyable as I d hoped.Literary NodsI noticed quite a few echoes of classics, and I liked all but one of these little homages That one though, is the main reason I gave this book only 3.A fingersmith is a pickpocket, and Oliver Twist is explicitly mentioned on the first page and a couple of times thereafter Unsurprising but harmless.There are indirect allusions to Don Quixote, when it s suggested that too much literature might trigger madness, and a librarian is a curator of poisons.Jane Eyre is a clear inspiration, with a Mrs Rivers not that there was, quite, one in JE , a magical realist thread tugging, almost literally, at the heart of a separated lover, and a willful child who is treated rather as Aunt Reed treated Jane.Aspects of the life of one character have eerie echoes of one in Great Expectations view spoiler raised in material comfort, but corrupted and deliberately inured to love hide spoiler Noticing this wasn t really a spoiler, but it added to the feeling of familiarity, rather than originality.There are quite a few ghost story tropes, but only in a couple of chapters fog, a mysterious candlelit figure at a window, clocks striking in a dilapidated house, nightmares etc The fundamental problem for me was the numerous parallels to another classic, meaning that the plot of this held few surprises view spoiler The Woman in White A young woman living in a large lonely house with an uncle who spends most of his time in the library uncle s dodgy friends enticed away by her drawing teacher the wrong woman locked in an asylum in an attempt to gain a legacy Marian Marianne some big coincidences hide spoiler Plenty of authors have successfully based their work on a well loved tale, so I m not sure why I had such a problem with this one I think it s that I didn t enjoy it enough in general, coupled with the fact this could be classed as a mystery, so knowing the plot rather killed the mystery.Three Sections, Two NarratorsThe book is split into thirds Part one 3 is narrated by Susan, a girl of about fifteen, who has lived all her life with fingersmiths, in a household that is a slightlybenevolent version of Bill Sykes and Nancy s establishment Her storytelling style is necessarily rather plain She overuses pretty as a modifier pretty precious , pretty good and sprinkles the odd bit of thieves slang, yet it didn t conjure the right tone for me.Part two 4 is narrated by Maude, who is the same age, but living in a country house with her reclusive uncle I really enjoyed this section, partly because herdescriptive and thoughtful voice wasengaging, but mainly because of the way this section repeatedly refuted so many of my assumptions and quibbles in part one, and raised questions about most of the others Almost nothing is as it seemed Why should my uncle lie Why should he tell the truth Part three 2 was back to Susan That in itself was predictable, and most of the plot was too.Anyone struggling with part one who is tempted to skim it to get to part two really shouldn t, otherwise the contrasts and contradictions will be lost on them.SURPRISE Several reviews mention the frequent and surprising plot twists I didn t really notice any until the end of part one, and once I realised the book whose plot it follows, most weren t really surprises, though they certainly count as twists so many lies and so much double crossing and confusion I can see why it can be exciting love, betrayal, mistaken identity, wealth, madness, revenge, escape, transformation, murder yet excitement eluded me FingeringWaters is well known as a lesbian writer who often includes lesbian themes That crops up here, but is not extensive enough to sway readers one way or the other when deciding whether to read it.Fingers feature prominently though, mainly in part two Maude always wears spotless gloves and her uncle has a big brass plaque on the library floor beyond which servants must not cross, lest their eyes damage the books He says it s in the shape of a pointing finger Erotica or Porn This book is neither, but it indirectly raises question about the distinction The flesh made word was a neat and maybe slightly heretical definition Words they seduce us in darkness and the mind clothes and fleshes them AbuseSome have suggested books should have trigger warnings It can be tricky to do that without spoilers There s nothing graphic here, but abusive and manipulative relationships of various kinds are explored here I might pass for a girl in an allegory, Confidence Abused.One interesting angle is that view spoiler the situation that would alarm modern social services is less damaging than the comfortable and outwardly respectable one hide spoiler There s also the quotidian dishonesty of and betrayal by lifelong crooks, but that s rather different Willing Suspension of Disbelief These factors contributed to why it didn t feel Dickensian enough to me it s set in 1862 It seems mean spirited to check these things out, but I did If you re fond of this book, or haven t read it, skip this section view spoiler Right from the start, the name Susan bothered me It gnawed away at me I was surprised to find it was not as uncommon as Maud e , though it was far rarer than Anne or Margaret My bad Another character is frequently seen smoking a cigarette sometimes from a pack, sometimes he rolls his own Again, that seemed noteworthy, and again I checked This proved far less likely Searching published documents of the period, Google Ngrams finds hardly any occurrences of the word at the time You can see the charts here %3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CSue%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ccigarette%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CMaud%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CMaude%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CMargaret%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CAnne%3B%2Cc0 Ngrams is far from perfect, but it s a handy resource hide spoiler I was also distracted by a Chekhov s Gun that never properly went off view spoiler Maude steals a razor blade, vandalises a book rather than slit her sleeping uncle s throat, but doesn t use it on subsequent occasions when it would have been really useful hide spoiler and Waters rather odd way of introducing direct speech She said, Direct quote as new paragraph, following on from paragraph that ended with a comma. Had I been enjoying it , I would probably have been able to ignore these issues.More positively, some of the things that seemed improbable in part one turned out to have vaguely plausible explanations in part two, and as with many Victorian novels, guilt is a major theme, though here the twist is that few havethan a passing acquaintance with it RatingOverall, not a bad book, but nowhere near as enjoyable as I d hoped It was a page turner though towards the end, I wanted to speed it up a bit , but it just didn t speak to me and I did listen.If I d never heard of it or the book it s based on, I would probably have given 4 , but my enjoyment was only 3.Quotes Stitching dog skins onto stolen dogs, to make them seem handsomer breeds Not a crime I d ever heard of Servants grow sentimental over the swells they work for, like dogs grow fond of bullies How many stories does one man need The question relates to the uncle in his library, but it could be asked of many of the double and triple crossing characters in the book The silence, that my uncle cultivates as other men grow vines and flowering creepers It is not the prospect of whipping that makes me meek It is what I know of the cruelty of patience My obedience enrages herthan ever my passions did He carries his daring, his confidence, close and gaudy about him, like swirls of colour or perfume Even wax limbs must yield at last to the heat of the hands that lift and place them A man in love with his own roguery


  8. Limonessa Limonessa says:

    I have to admit that throughout almost all of Fingersmith the main random thoughts sweeping across the desolate land of my mind were along the lines of WTF WHAT WHAT DID JUST HAPPEN This is an intricate, ambitious, original, jaw dropping, gut punching, heart wrenching plot for which I will NOT give you a synopsis First, because I wouldn t know where to start from and second because it s better for you if you know NOTHING about it Then you ll have my same random thoughts, as stated above I I have to admit that throughout almost all of Fingersmith the main random thoughts sweeping across the desolate land of my mind were along the lines of WTF WHAT WHAT DID JUST HAPPEN This is an intricate, ambitious, original, jaw dropping, gut punching, heart wrenching plot for which I will NOT give you a synopsis First, because I wouldn t know where to start from and second because it s better for you if you know NOTHING about it Then you ll have my same random thoughts, as stated above I ll just give you a few fundamental points you need to know it s set in Victorian England, it s about thieves, an elaborate scam and it is not for people who don t tolerate gratuitous cruelty, mind games and deceptions in their books.Actually, I d say its main theme is just that DECEPTION This is not what I would usually pick up books that keep continuously on edge, anxious, oppressed, frustrated, puzzled, even nauseated at times are so not my cup of tea So while on the one hand I gave it 4 stars because I did like it, on the other hand I cringe when I look at it, even now, a few days later But I guess it s just what I am meant to feel, for such a book So yes, a success in its genre My main complaint is its length Its change of pace unsettled me, starting off as dull, then giving you a big punch in the face around one third in, then lulling again for quite a long chunk to finish off with a great epilogue So while some parts where breath taking and put me in a frenzy I swear I was tachycardic , some other parts kind of put me in a stupor while monsoons where still blowing my mind and I was trying to figure out what could possibly happen next All in all a great read but not for the faint of heart I m pretty sure I want to read something else by this author, once I get over the persecutory delusions I developed withFingersmith


  9. Candise Candise says:

    A friend knocked on my door one evening and I answered, looking disheveled and I think a bit frightened She asked me what was wrong, if she had interrupted something I said no, that I had just been reading Fingersmith and I was really stressed out because now I had to leave the house and didn t know what was going to happen next And that is basically how this book took over my life in a good way.Sue is an orphan who lives in London in a house of petty thieves A con man known as Gentleman c A friend knocked on my door one evening and I answered, looking disheveled and I think a bit frightened She asked me what was wrong, if she had interrupted something I said no, that I had just been reading Fingersmith and I was really stressed out because now I had to leave the house and didn t know what was going to happen next And that is basically how this book took over my life in a good way.Sue is an orphan who lives in London in a house of petty thieves A con man known as Gentleman convinces her to take a position as the maid of young wealthy heiress Maud Lilly, and in doing so, help him seduce and swindle her The intimate nature of their relationship as well as the underlying plot allow the two girls to grow much closer than either anticipated, as each one has so much at stake.I literally couldn t put this book down When I had to leave the house I took it with me, hoping that I might get a moment to read a little further There were so many plot twists, but the amazing thing was that it was actually smart and unpredictable.I gasped out loud I actually yelled, No fucking way on page 183 only a third of the way into the novel When I wasn t reading, I used up my brainpower guessing about what would happen next, how the heroines could get out of the situation To put it bluntly, I was obsessed Everyone I ve talked to about this book has had the same experiences So if you enjoy obsessing and agonizing over a novel that will overtake your life for at least a week and make you anxious and excited, then this is definitely the book for you In fact, if you love fiction at all, you should read this book immediately


  10. Linda Linda says:

    Holy Crackers What a read I felt like Alice falling down the Rabbit Hole This story hastwists and turns than a shopping cart caught in the wind in a Walmart parking lot When you commit to this one, please know that it is heavy lifting at almost 600 pages Some parts are easily predictable, while other parts leave you smarting from the surprise attack.Many others have done an excellent job in relaying the plot design here I won t go into that aside from saying that Sarah Waters has an Holy Crackers What a read I felt like Alice falling down the Rabbit Hole This story hastwists and turns than a shopping cart caught in the wind in a Walmart parking lot When you commit to this one, please know that it is heavy lifting at almost 600 pages Some parts are easily predictable, while other parts leave you smarting from the surprise attack.Many others have done an excellent job in relaying the plot design here I won t go into that aside from saying that Sarah Waters has an exceptional talent of sculpting her characters befitting of the Dickens era right down to the crisp dialog I was intrigued from the start It s like throwing out the time old question of, Who are you, REALLY Be prepared for some crazy zapped answers to that one We have a name for your disease We call it a hyper aesthetic one You have been encouraged to over indulge yourself in literature and have inflamed your organs of fancy You have read too much Such was told to women of the day That quote from the book left me laughing with my head fully tilted back and thinking, dear reader, how you and I would be locked up for sure from mega hours and years of taking to the literature Maybe that is why I tend to be glassy eyed and incoherent after a block buster read Now there s a name for that


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