Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

A clever story of young female love

Fingersmith is a stunningly clever story. Like many people I had heard of it, as it was made into a tv show along with many of Water’s works, like the excellent ‘Tipping the velvet’. I didn’t think it would be my kind of story as I’m not a fan of period drama and thought anything with so much hype around it could not be as good as everyone said. I thought it was so popular because the story is about love between two young girls. It is that, but these girls have lived astonishingly brutal lives like many women have and still do and at any age! The difference with Fingersmith is that these girls are clever, and in love, but they do not need each other to survive.

The first part of the story introduces us to Sue who has been dragged up in the hardest and poorest part of Victorian London. She has learned her trade of pickpocketing brilliantly from the mother to all the local orphan thieves and abandoned babies, Mrs Sucksby. One of her proteges, Gentleman, returns with a grand plan to con a wealthy country man, Mr Lily, out of his fortune by eloping with his young niece. This plan needs Sue to play the part of maid to the niece, Maud, and gain her trust then throw her into an asylum, take her share of the money and return to her nasty foster mum Sucksby.

The niece is not what she seems though! In-fact nothing and no-one in this story is what they seem. There are few times in my life where I have read something that truly has made my jaw drop, but the twists in this story did it! I felt for characters I had hated but I never got bored reading this. This book is genius, and I loved the main characters because they grow to be real and independent and make their own way and just happen to love each other.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *