There are always novels that you envy people for not yet having read, for the pleasure they still have to come. Well, this is one. Long, dark, twisted and satisfying, it’s a fabulous piece of writing…and unforgettable experience.” Julie Myerson, Guardian
Fingersmith was my choice for book club. As always, I deliberated endlessly over what to choose and wanted to pick something off my ‘to read’ shelf. Despite the book’s length, reviews had promised a page-turner and they were right.
Fingersmith is a difficult book to talk about without giving anything away – there are more plot twists and deceptions packed into its 500 plus pages than any other book in recent memory.
Set in Victorian England, it concerns the life of Sue Trinder, who was orphaned at birth and raised by Mrs Sucksby and her ‘family’ of fingersmiths or petty thieves. At 17, Sue is drawn into a plot to bilk Maud Lilly, another orphan who lives in a remote estate with her Uncle, out of her fortune. This plot and the effect it has on Sue’s life (and Maud’s as well) is told first from Sue’s point of view and then from Maud’s and it is intricate and filled with intrigue.
There are some Dickensian elements – Waters makes some social commentary, although not overtly, and there is melodrama galore- but, ultimately, Fingersmith is a highly satisfying read populated with intriguing characters and more chilling dips than a roller coaster.