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

by Sarah Waters

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5,015179903 (4.06)811
Member:CaseyStepaniuk
Title:Fingersmith
Authors:Sarah Waters
Info:Riverhead Trade (2002), Edition: 1st, Paperback, 582 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:British, lesbian, fiction, historical, read

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Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (2002)

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» See also 811 mentions

English (175)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
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 |
This modern literary classic is very well written and for the most part a good page turner, but I am not entirely sure what I thought about it and whether I really liked it. It is difficult to describe the plot without giving too much away, but it is a novel set in mid Victorian times about changing identities, multiple deceptions and the yawning gulf between different classes of people at the time. It is also a novel dealing with mental illness and the most shocking parts of the book for me were the horrible descriptions of how mentally ill women (and such men as well, no doubt, though they don't feature in this novel) were treated at the time to try to shock or force them out of their condition. I wasn't keen on the conclusion and the very ending, slightly reminiscent in some ways of the ending of Dickens's Great Expectations, I found ambiguous and rather unsatisfactory. I didn't much care for either of the main two female characters, Maud and Susan, though one or two of the lesser characters (such as Mrs Sucksby) came across as being quite Dickensian. ( )
  john257hopper | Jul 3, 2014 |
  amyem58 | Jul 3, 2014 |
Twists and turns through Victorian England, dipping into the world of fingersmiths (don't be looking for the Artful Dodger among these thieves, though)and the gentry. Waters weaves the tale one way, then the other, intertwining the stories of two orphans with surprising twists and knots. Dark, surprising, well written. ( )
  bookczuk | Apr 18, 2014 |
I don't give 4 or 5 star reviews very often, so when I do, the book has to have really impressed me. This one, written in our modern age, is a true Victorian Gothic novel. This story revolves around 2 orphaned girls, Susan & Maud. Maud was raised as a gentlewoman on a large estate in the country by her uncle, an eccentric scholar. Susan was raised in an area of London known as The Borough, by a partnership of "sharpers", meaning thieves & fences. However, when a plan is cooked up & Susan sent to the country to become Maud's new maid in a money bilking scheme, is when the story starts to spin. The plot twists spin, & spin again until you're just about dizzy with it. It's funny, sad, touching, shocking, & mesmerizing all at the same time. Any fan of historical fiction is going to LOVE this one.

The author is an award winning one, & this book itself was short listed for the prestigious Man Booker prize back in 2002. Even though it didn't win, it was an honor just to be nominated, & even more to be drawn for the short list of books considered.

It's on one of the various editions of 1001 Books To Read Before You Die...which is where I found it. WELL worth the read! ( )
1 vote Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
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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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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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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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