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Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
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Fingersmith (original 2002; edition 2002)

by Sarah Waters (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,360234914 (4.06)1 / 1085
Member:HKISHSLIB
Title:Fingersmith
Authors:Sarah Waters (Author)
Info:Riverhead Books (2002), Edition: 1st, 582 pages
Collections:Summer Reading 2013
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (2002)

  1. 161
    The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (wonderlake, teelgee)
    teelgee: Definitely see where Sarah Waters got her inspiration!
  2. 110
    Affinity by Sarah Waters (Booksloth)
  3. 112
    The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber (starfishian, Booksloth, YossarianXeno)
    YossarianXeno: Both rollicking reads covering the more seedy aspects of life in 19th Century London
  4. 62
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Alialibobali, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These novels offer gothic suspense's classic creepy atmosphere, though with somewhat different story-lines. Fingersmith takes place in Victorian England while The Thirteenth Tale is contemporary, but both emphasize books, mysteries about birth and identity, insanity, and grand houses.… (more)
  5. 52
    A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick (teelgee)
  6. 30
    The Passion by Jeanette Winterson (kaionvin)
  7. 41
    Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue (rich_as_a_queen)
  8. 20
    The Observations by Jane Harris (wandering_star)
  9. 20
    She Rises: A Novel by Kate Worsley (JoEnglish)
  10. 10
    Wildthorn by Jane Eagland (blacksylph)
  11. 10
    The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (withwill)
  12. 10
    The Dark Lantern: A Novel by Gerri Brightwell (Electablue)
  13. 10
    Summit Avenue by Mary Sharratt (Anisland)
  14. 00
    The Asylum by John Harwood (HollyMS)
  15. 00
    Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry (Electablue)
  16. 00
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell: A Novel by Susanna Clarke (themulhern)
    themulhern: Books set in an historical English and evoking the writers of that time.
  17. 00
    After Mrs Hamilton by Clare Ashton (Charmella1)
  18. 11
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  19. 24
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  20. 13
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    YossarianXeno: Both are compellingly written historical novels

(see all 20 recommendations)

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English (228)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (233)
Showing 1-5 of 228 (next | show all)
Some genuine surprises in here, lots of twists and turns, and I often found myself unsure of who and what I was rooting for, which made for entertaining reading. ( )
  Katie80 | Oct 8, 2018 |
https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3061365.html

Cor. I have come rather late to Sarah Waters - this was published in 2002 - but this was an amazing delve into the depths of Victorian London (and Surrey), with seedy plans of the lower and upper classes intersecting, and a deranged conspiracy dragging the two young women protagonists into collision with other people's greed. There is some intense (but not at all explicit) lesbian sex; if anything the similar scene in Proust is more shocking. The shock factor here is the sheer nastiness of Victorian society and the desperation that drives everyone. A fantastic read. ( )
  nwhyte | Aug 21, 2018 |
maybe this should be 5 stars. 4.75 for sure. i don't know that i'd feel this way if i reread it someday (i can be hot and cold with sarah waters), but in this reading, i was blown away. by the writing, the story, the plotting, the pacing. all of it. she is such an incredible writer, and sets the tone and place so perfectly.

to say anything at all about this book spoils it so i'll just say that she does such an excellent job writing in susan and maud's voice, and that i actually gasped out loud at the first twist in the story.

i loved this.

"She holds herself above me. I feel the rapid beating of a heart, and suppose it my own. But it is hers. Her breath comes, fast. She has begun, very lightly, to tremble.
Then I catch the excitement of her, the amazement of her.
'Do you feel it?' she says. Her voice sounds strangely in the absolute darkness. 'Do you feel it?'
I do. I feel it as a falling, a dropping, a trickling, like sand from a bulb of glass. Then I move; and I am not dry, like sand. I am wet. I am running, like water, like ink." ( )
  elisa.saphier | Aug 8, 2018 |
Smut. Angry that I wasted time reading 25% of this book before it deteriorated into a sexual novel. Up to that point it was ok, but not riveting. I will be more careful in future in thinking that awards have meaning. ( )
  phantomswife | Jul 6, 2018 |
This is a great historical mystery. Lant Street, in the Borough, was home to Mrs. Sucksby, who was taking in babies, and Mr. Ibbs, who was a locksmith, but rather stewed stolen goods. The main characters were Susan and Maud, both of them the same age, but their childhood fate could not be further apart, could it?
While Susan helped Mrs Sucksby raise her babies, Maud helped her uncle catalog, copy, and read pornographic books. Until one day 'gentleman' the whole arrangement started to turn upside down.
The story is spellbinding, sometimes it made me mad, but I could not stop reading it. ( )
  Ameise1 | May 27, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 228 (next | show all)
Queen Victoria, while accepting homosexuality in men, is said not to have been able to believe lesbians existed.

Sarah Waters sets out once again to prove Her Majesty wrong in her latest novel, Fingersmith, set - as her other two novels, Tipping the Velvet and Affinity - in Victorian London.

This is hardly niche writing - or even erotic fiction, although the few love scenes are tenderly drawn.

It is instead a tremendous read that draws the reader swiftly into the teeming life that thrived underneath the various repressions of the Victorian era.
 
let's just say that Dickens, the great performer of his own work, would surely have blushed to read it.
added by Ariane65 | editNew York times, Tom Gilling (Feb 24, 2002)
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Watersprimary authorall editionscalculated
Abrams, ErikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ascari, FabrizioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
中村, 有希Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
นันทวั… เติมแสงสิริศักดิ์Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Øverås, LinnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bützow, HeleneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bingül, FigenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Borges, Ana Luiza DantasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calonge, Rosa MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Camp, Marion Op denTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Filat, IoanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gawlik-Małkowska, MagdalenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Houstrup, VibekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
최용준Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McMahon, JuanitaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Öjerskog, MarianneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Puchalská, Barbora PungeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Retterbush, Stefaniesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ropret, AlenkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vujičić, IrinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zulaika, JaimeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
林玉葳Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Усова, НинаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Sally O-J
First words
My name, in those days, was Susan Trinder.
Quotations
"You've heard, perhaps, of my Index? ... Has there ever been its like? A universal bibliography, and on such a theme? They say the science is a dead one amongst Englishmen. ... Fantastic, when one knows the degrees of obscurity in which my subject is shrouded. ... the authors of the texts I collect must cloak their identity in deception and anonymity. The texts themselves are stamped with every kind of false and misleading detail as to place and date of publication and impress. They are burdened with obscure titles. They must pass darkly, via secret channels, or on the wings of rumour and supposition. Consider those checks to the bibliographer's progress. Then speak to me, sir, of fantastic labour!" ... "And the Index is organized --?" "By title, by name, by date when we have it; and, mark this, sir; by species of pleasure. We have them tabled, most precisely."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine Fingersmith the novel with Fingersmith the DVD.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Norwegian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
From Front Flap of the dust jacket:
"London 1862. Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves -- fingersmiths -- under the rough but loving care of Mrs. Sucksby and her 'family'. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue's fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away.

From the celebrated author of Tipping the Velvet and Affinity-- a modern-day Charles Dickens or Wilkie Collins -- comes an extraordinary, ingenious tale of fraud, insanity and secrets."
Haiku summary
"Mrs Sucksby was a devil with her dander up."  (lizchris)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

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, a somewhat elegant con man, who carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: If she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a nave 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 left to live out her days in a mental hospital. 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 surprises. --Publisher.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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