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

by Sarah Waters

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,666209753 (4.07)1 / 1022
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

Work details

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters (2002)

  1. 150
    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. 102
    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 by Kate Worsley (JoEnglish)
  10. 10
    Wildthorn by Jane Eagland (blacksylph)
  11. 10
    The Night Watch by Sarah Waters (withwill)
  12. 10
    Summit Avenue by Mary Sharratt (Anisland)
  13. 10
    The Dark Lantern: A Novel by Gerri Brightwell (Electablue)
  14. 00
    The Asylum by John Harwood (Hollerama)
  15. 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.
  16. 00
    Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry (Electablue)
  17. 11
    The Book of Human Skin by Michelle Lovric (Cecilturtle)
  18. 24
    Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister by Gregory Maguire (kaionvin)
  19. 13
    Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson (YossarianXeno)
    YossarianXeno: Both are compellingly written historical novels
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English (205)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  English (209)
Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
Brilliant! ( )
  Nataliec7 | Oct 31, 2016 |
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters; (4*);

When I started reading the book I did not realize that the story would be told first from Sue's point of view and then from Maude's. When I found myself starting again with Maude I was a bit taken aback. However I should have trusted Waters. Maude's tale was as fascinating as Sue's, though very different. Both stories came together well in the end.
My favorite part of this novel is the way that both girls take control of their own destinies and manage to grant themselves a satisfactory ending. While reading I was wondering how on earth Waters would resolve everything. Her solution was the best kind. It was unexpected and yet exactly what it should have been, given everything that came before. ( )
  rainpebble | Sep 4, 2016 |
I LOVE this book. The audio was a joy. I think the narrator did a great job of bringing the story to life. ( )
  amcheri | Aug 22, 2016 |
Loved it. Twice. You can read my review here: http://reviews.c-spot.net/archives/3495 ( )
  amcheri | Aug 22, 2016 |
3.5* rounded up to 4*

"We were thinking of secrets. Real secrets, and snide. Too many to count. When I try now to sort out who knew what and who knew nothing, who knew everything and who was a fraud, I have to stop and give it up, it makes my head spin."

It was with some trepidation that I started on Fingersmith. This was said to be the book that was most resembling a Dickensian story. I don't rate Dickens highly. I don't mind him, but I was afraid that people loved Fingersmith because they love the Dickensian element which inevitably would not impress me much.

To my delight, the Dickensian setting was well suited to book but did not distract from the story, the layers, the characters, and best of all the writing.

There is not much to say about Fingersmith that has not been said already, and providing a summary of the plot will spoil the book. However, one of the main features that I enjoyed with this one was the language: the melodic, almost poetic, composition of some of the parts - which really need to be read aloud. For example, this part describes a train journey, and by reading aloud you can just about catch the rhythm of the train rolling on the tracks:

"Soon the train gives a hiss, and gathers its bulk, and shudders back into terrible life. We leave the streets of Maidenhead. We pass through trees. Beyond the trees there are open parklands, and houses - some as great as my uncle's, some greater. Here and there are cottages with pens of pigs, with gardens set with broken sticks or climbing beans, and hung with lines of laundry. Where the lines are full there is laundry hung from windows, from trees, on bushes, on chairs, between the shafts of broken carts - laundry everywhere, drooping and yellow."


( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 205 (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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References to this work on external resources.

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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