Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters

Fingersmith is an odd sort of book. It is really spectacularly long (500-ish pages, which is a lot to me), and for long stretches there isn’t much in the way of action, and there’s not a ton of character development or anything, but I’m still kind of in love with it.

This is probably because it is Victorian-inspired and therefore a little ridiculous and also crazy. The book is split into three parts, and the first is fairly boring and took me a long time to get through. But basically there are some thief-types, and one of them convinces another, called Sue, to do a sweet little undercover gig that’ll earn Sue a bazillionty twelve dollars (I think that’s the exchange rate on 3000 pounds circa 1900, yes?), and she goes to do it. Yay. But all the while, Sue is like, “I did this and this and this other thing, and if only I had known then what I know now!” and I was like, tell me more, but she doesn’t, and then at the end of the first part it’s made relatively clear and I was like, “Damn.”

Seriously. An excellent finish… and then there’s more! Two whole more parts! And there are more crazy twists and turns and scandal and babies and knives (not together) and madhouses and escapes and if this run-on sentence isn’t intriguing you in the least bit, you’re probably not going to like the book.

But I did very much like it, and in fact while looking for the image for this post I found out that there is a BBC adaptation of this book and I immediately added it to my Netflix queue. I am very interested to see how some of the scenes in this book get adapted to the screen, and how much of the first part gets cut in favor of scandal and pretty dresses.

Rating: 9/10
(Support Your Local Library Challenge, Chunkster Challenge)

See also:
The Written World
Trish’s Reading Nook
things mean a lot

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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