Review From User :

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, but more traditionally 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 hopefully - "more". she 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 thing...

all i know is this is a truly enjoyable and memorable book,and my brows suit me perfectly. hhmph.

it's also like this:

come to my blog!

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 home.

One 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 naive 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 asylum.

With 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 ways…But no one and nothing is as it seems in this Dickensian novel of thrills and reversals.

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