Fingersmith, Sarah Waters

Because of reasons – except who needs a reason for this? – I decided the other week that I really needed to read more historical lesbian fiction. “Like Tipping the Velvet!” I said, because that was the only one I really knew.

Except, “No,” says Becca. “You have to read Fingersmith,” because I’ve read that one and then you can tell me about your feels!”

So because I never disobey Becca with regards to story consumption, I obediently bought it for my Nook. Two days later I wandered into her room – which is a thing I do whenever I have to talk about stories and she’s very tolerant of it, I must say.

“So this hasn’t got much of a plot,” I say. “It’s very straight forward, linear. ‘This is what we’re going to do’ and then they do it.”

“Mmmmhmmm,” said Becca, pulling the kind of ‘I wont’ spoil it no I won’t I promise!’ face that I’m occasionally oblivious to in the force of my own OPINIONS. So I went back and continued to reading. Because I was still overtaken with feelings for the characters, and who needs plot when the characters are so good.

Actual text to actual Becca sent the very next day:


This would be the themes of texts I send Becca over the course of reading this rollercoaster of a book. I bleieve I actually sent her “OH MY GOD” verbatum twice.

Fingersmith has, without spoiling so in no particular order:

– plot twists
– Complex and confusing Victorian etiquette
– Found family
–  legacy of parents you never meet
– thieves!
– more plot twists!
– ambiguously gay!
– Victorian morality
– porn
–  some disturbing scenes of Victorian “medicine”
– switching of viewpoint characters with very distinctive voices
–  dramatic revelations involving details from the front of the book you thought were just detail
– loyal platonic female friendships!

Basically, I loved every minute of reading it, and just wanted to talk about it ALL THE TIME.

So if you like historical drama and you’re a fan of LGBT protagonists and just great twisty Dickensian stories in general, then you should read this book too so I can talk to you about it.

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