By Sarah Waters
Completed July 21, 2009
The story of Fingersmith reminded me of a crazy car ride with no seat belts. Sarah Waters expertly led her readers through plot twists and turns, leaving you near-breathless as you wrapped your head around colorful characters and tricky plot advancements. When I was done reading Fingersmith, I had to pry my hands off the book.
It’s hard to summarize Fingersmith without revealing spoilers. Suffice it to say, this book is set in Victorian England and includes a drafty old house, a crazy uncle, a secluded lady, a pickpocket, an opportunistic bastard and sex. While it sounds like another formulaic Gothic novel, trust me when I say it’s not. Dickens could have created the characters but only Sarah Waters could have delivered them in such a fashion.
Fingersmith wasn’t without flaws and some believability issues, but who cares when you’re ensnarled in good Victorian fiction? I especially loved the exploration of female love and companionship during this time. Many scholars have speculated about how intimate Victorian girls were, who often hugged, kissed, held hands and shared beds for warmth. It’s nice to read how true this affection could be between girls from this era.
For fans of historical fiction, I would highly recommend Fingersmith to you. Fast and furious, I believe most readers will find this stout book to be a real gem.