“Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters



This is the best book I’ve read in a long time. A novel set in the criminal underbelly of Victorian England. A “fingersmith” is a pick-pocket. which naturally conjures up images of “Oliver Twist”. Indeed we first see one of the novel’s two heroines, Sue,  at a play of “Oliver Twist” in London’s West End, she screams when the cruel Bill Sykes kills Nancy. Our tale is  the tale of an orphan girl brought up in a den of thieves in Borough, who is involved in a plot to switch places with, Maud, a rich heiress in the country. All is not what it seems and the plot has many astonishing jaw dropping twists. With our two heroines we visit a Victorian madhouse with sadistic nurses and doctors who wish to keep their charges for the financial returns, we visit the seedy library of a pornographer,  we are taken to the gaol and to the gallows and we become immersed in a tale of many deceptions. Mrs Suckersby, a name worthy of a Dickens novel,  is our Fagin, running a house for fencing stolen property and doubling as a baby farm, profiting from unwanted bastards.  Like “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” (by John Fowles) it casts a modern eye on the Victorian period, the attraction between Sue and Maud, is probably not something Charles Dickens would have envisioned.

My rating : 5 out of 5

This is a book that caused me to miss my metro stop and one that distracted me from Facebook, a rare feat these days.


About jimholroyd365

Hi, my name is Jim, I am an Englishman living in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. I started this blog to share my interests, my photos and to make sense of my world. I take a lot of photographs of various subjects, some of which I intend to share here. I collect diecast cars and get the same thrill at 50 as I did when I was 8, when I find a car I'm searching for, Don't worry, I have a separate blog for this hobby. Please feel free to comment and ask questions on what I blog. I am quite new to this blogging, I was inspired by reading a book, which began as a blog of a London Ambulance Driver: "Blood, Sweat and Tea". I hope my blog will be entertaining and amusing, I did try stand up comedy in the UK and had seven gigs before I left to teach English in Georgia. I love reading and so the blog will include book reviews of books as I finish them.I don't know about which direction this blog will go, I am a great believer in serendipity...let the journey begin...
This entry was posted in 5 Star Review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to “Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters

  1. What a refreshingly short and to-the-point review! Will definitely look into this book myself. I believe I’ve once watched a televised version of it. And since I’ve just finished my bachelor thesis on madness in the Victorian age, a fictional account of asylum life will certainly be an interesting read.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s