Fingersmith

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In between finishing up my B.A and in particular dodging the remembrance that I need to pass math, I have finally finished Fingersmith by the lovely Sarah Waters. Having read Tipping the Velvet first I was really pleasantly surprised by the sweetness of Fingersmith. I enjoyed Tipping the Velvet but more often than not I was distracted by the insane circumstances that the main character Nancy found herself in as well as her decisions. Over all I found Nancy to be pretty unrelatable and after the first half of the book I was unsympathetic to her plights. Fingersmith however focused on two young women who captured my heart. Susan and her intended prey Maude were both complex characters. Both women are introduced and see each other in a clear way, thinking the other was exactly as she appeared. The book begins with a seemingly straightforward premise, Susan a young woman convinced to participate in a major con to benefit her criminal foster family. Although she was raised in a home bustling with the petty criminals of London, Susan is sheltered and takes the people she meets at face value. One of the con artists in and out of her home is a disgraced and impoverished menial member of the aristocracy known as the Gentleman. Along with the Gentleman Susan imparts on a mission to trick the seemingly innocent and malleable noblewoman Maude Lily out of her inheritance. Susan plays the part of lady maid, supporting Gentleman as the seducer.

Nothing about this story is simple of as it seems however, and both women are unaware of the truth and the depth of power between them. Because Waters presents the story in several parts alternating between Susan and Maude’s perspective the reader is kept at the same darkness as the characters making each twist a true surprise. The sweetness between Susan and Maude was engaging and believable, reminiscent of first love and the isolation of self denial.

I will be watching the film adaptation soon, and I have much higher hopes for it than the adaptation of Tipping the Velvet should allow me to have. The adaptation for Tipping the Velvet was pretty awful to be honest, it was hokey and made the insane circumstances of the book loss any hint of seriousness. There were far to many iris in and outs and well as hokey winks right at the camera. Seeing as Fingersmith was a much more engaging and sweet book overall I have high hopes for the adaptation.

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