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Affinity by Sarah Waters
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Affinity (original 1999; edition 2002)

by Sarah Waters

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2,5901072,307 (3.74)261
Member:CaseyStepaniuk
Title:Affinity
Authors:Sarah Waters
Info:Riverhead Trade (2002), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:British, lesbian, historical, fiction, read

Work details

Affinity by Sarah Waters (1999)

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English (104)  Portuguese (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (107)
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
Margaret Prior, a young woman who does not fit neatly into Victorian society is recovering from a suicide attempt after the death of her beloved father. As a way to occupy her time she becomes a Lady Visitor at a local prison. It is here that she meets and subsequently becomes obsessed with Selina Dawes, a spiritualist imprisoned after a seance gone wrong.

I have to admit I have no idea how to rate this book. It was painfully slow at times, yet Sarah Waters does a brilliant job of building a growing sense of dread. I loved how the themes of imprisonment in Victorian society-both literal and figurative-underlay the whole story. She is so successful at creating a dark, uncomfortable atmosphere that it is actual rather hard to enjoy sitting down with the book. And while you can tell there is a twist coming, you can't quite put your finger on it until the very last pages. A different kind of read, for sure. ( )
  Tess_Elizabeth | Jan 31, 2016 |
Set in the late 1800's, this book is about Margaret Prior who will be turning 30 soon and is still unmarried. Her father died not long ago and she is still in mourning; mourning for her father and also for what she thought her life would be like. On the advice of one of her late father's friends, she decides to become a 'Lady Visitor' to Millbank prison. In the prison, she meets Selina Dawes, a medium in prison for assault and fraud. The book goes back and forth between the developing relationship between Margaret and Selina and a first person account from Selina that describes events leading up to her imprisonment. I did not expect the ending; it has you considering what was real and what was fake. Well done. ( )
  LisaMorr | Jan 27, 2016 |
Surprisingly suitable queer subtext which was actually really awesome. ( )
  CatherineJay | Dec 30, 2015 |
I am embarrassed at how long it took me to start suspecting the twist at the end, but it was such a beautiful story! ( )
  jen.e.moore | Nov 27, 2015 |
This is a dark and spiritually disturbing novel. It's all in here: imprisonment, dehumanisation, the destruction of faith, a state run system of consentless BDSM, and over it all the black spectre of death. Reading it thrust me into a frightening state of mind where I found myself stalked by thoughts of the failures of my life and the lack of control I have over it. I'm not kidding, so don't say I didn't warn you, Folks. I would turn to the beginning of each new prison chapter with a real sense of dread and found myself hoping this was a horror novel, because if it's a horror novel then everything will be all right in the end. ( )
  Lukerik | Oct 27, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 104 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Watersprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abrams, ErikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ascari, FabrizioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
中村有希訳Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carlsson, Irja M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fernandes, IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gawlik-Małkowska, MagdalenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ghersini, TeodoraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Retterbush, StefanieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sørensen, Henrik EnemarkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zulaika, JaimeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
林玉葳Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Сафронова, АлександраTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
אינגה מיכאליTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Affinity ( [2008]IMDb)
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To Caroline Halliday
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I was never so frightened as I am now.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Set in and around the women's prison at Milbank in the 1870's , AFFINITY is an eerie and utterly compelling ghost story, a complex and intriguing literary mystery and a poignant love story with an unexpected twist in the tale. Following the death of her father, Margaret Prior has decided to pursue some 'good work' with the lady criminals of one of London's most notorious gaols. Surrounded by prisoners, murderers and common thieves, Margaret feels herself drawn to one of the prisons more unlikely inmates - the imprisoned spiritualist - Selina Dawes. Sympathetic to the plight of this innocent-seeming girl, Margaret sees herself dispensing guidance and perhaps friendship on her visits, little expecting to find herself dabbling in a twilight world of seances, shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions.
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Margaret Prior, assigned to visit the women's ward of Victorian London's Millbank prison as part of her rehabilitative charity work for a suicide attempt, is drawn into a dark romance with spiritualist Selina Dawes who has been jailed after a seance she was conducting went horribly wrong.… (more)

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