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Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Fingersmith (original 2002; edition 2003)

by Sarah Waters

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5,143181869 (4.06)855
Authors:Sarah Waters
Info:Virago Press (2003), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, British, LGBT, Victorian, historical fiction

Work details

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (2002)

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English (177)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (181)
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
The story of two orphans, Sarah Tinder raised in the Borough, Lant Street, near the Thames. The other orphan is Maud Lilly, raised at first in a mad house and later around age 10 by her mother’s brother at Briar. Sarah is the fingersmith, a thief, a person good at stealing. What comes into the house on Lant Street, does not leave the same. The first part really ends with a twist. I was quite surprised and was really liking the book. The next part was not as entertaining, mystery does continue to build but this is where we learn more about Maud and her situation. It is unsettling. The next part again gets better. I like the sections where Susan is the narrator best. She is a very sympathetic character.

“Everything that came into our kitchen looking like one sort of thing, was made to leave it again looking quite another,” ( )
  Kristelh | Nov 21, 2014 |
This book is wonderfully atmospheric and suspenseful. ( )
  Michelle_Detorie | Nov 18, 2014 |
Oh, my god! Guys! Hey, guys! I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Susan Trinder is a sixteen year old thief, known as a fingersmith, in Victorian London. When Gentleman comes to her family with an opportunity to con a young, innocent woman out of her fortune, Susan signs on and agrees to pretend to be her maid.

And that's all I'm going to tell you about it, because to say one word more risks spoiling too many things. What happens in this story is brilliant and surprising and oozes with moral grey areas.

Someone compared this to Dickens and I think it's an apt description. Many of the characters exist either in London's underground or in the obscure wealthy and each one is a unique and fascinating character. You could see them coming right out of a Dickens novel (think: Miss Havisham from Great Expectations, perhaps, or Fagin from Oliver Twist). The plot could also be considered quite Dickensian, I think. Although, for me, Waters is infinitely more readable than Dickens.

Although, I've only read this one book by her, I've also heard amazing things about Tipping the Velvet and I can already tell she's going to fall in with my all-time favorite authors. ( )
3 vote andreablythe | Oct 1, 2014 |
thank you lt for introducing me to this book - so many of the top 100 members with my books gave this a great rating that i had to give it a try, though victorian novels are usually at the bottom of my list - i finished it a half hour ago and feel like i'm just stepping off the roller coaster - i couldn't put it down and was breathless for much of the book -

i'm glad that i knew nothing of the plot for that kept all the surprises intact - every twist and turn was unexpected - and the characterizations and prose added so much to the already intriguing story - in ways it reminds me of the best of fiction - intriguing characters with great plotline and a fulfilling ending - i plan to read more of sarah waters soon! ( )
  njinthesun | Sep 9, 2014 |
So much fun. When I first began Fingersmith, it looked like I was getting in a fairly typical dark Victorian drama. However, where everything seemed obvious on the surface, nothing was ever as it first appeared. I was hit with a plot twist so unexpected and surprising that I actually laughed out loud. I love when an author is able to completely catch me off guard, and Water does so in a remarkably deft and fluid manner. In a nutshell, the story is about how the lives of two innocent young women are affected by the greed and deception of those they depend on. The plot relies on many classic Gothic themes-a madhouse, thievery and double-crossing, inheritance claims, forbidden romance- yet the overall premise remains fresh and unique. ( )
  LaurenMae85 | Jul 20, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Watersprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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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To Sally O-J
First words
My name, in those days, was Susan Trinder.
"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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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)

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