Riverhead Books; (October 1, 2002) ISBN: 1573229725
Fingersmith is the third slice of engrossing lesbian Victoriana from Sarah Waters. Although lighter and more melodramatic in tone than its predecessor, Affinity, this hypnotic suspense novel is awash with all manner of gloomy Dickensian leitmotifs: pickpockets, orphans, grim prisons, lunatic asylums, “laughing villains,” and, of course, “stolen fortunes and girls made out to be mad.”
Divided into three parts, the tale is narrated by two orphaned girls whose lives are inextricably linked. Waters’s penchant for byzantine plotting can get a bit exhausting, but even at its densest moments-and remember, this is smoggy London circa 1862-it remains mesmerizing.
A damning critique of Victorian moral and sexual hypocrisy, a gripping melodrama, and a love story to boot, this book ingeniously reworks some truly classic themes.—Travis Elborough (Amazon UK)
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