Nan King, an oyster girl, is captivated by the music hall phenomenon Kitty Butler, a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury....
Once inside the concrete walls of Millbank Prison, Margaret Prior, hired tospeak with the female inmates, becomes all too aware that what she perceives to be reality may not be so....
In The Night Watch Sarah Waters tells the riveting, intersecting tales of four Londoners during and after World War II....
From the best-selling author of The Little Stranger, an enthralling novel about a widow and her daughter who take a young couple into their home in 1920s London....
A chance encounter between two lonely women leads to a passionate romance in this lesbian cult classic....
Harboring dark ties to the school's past, this young teacher has arrived with one terrible goal: to destroy St. Oswald's....
Holly tells herself that the reason she hasn't asked her girlfriend to move in (after four years of dating) is that she's too busy - but it isn't true. A very book-obsessed librarian, Holly has buried herself....
Every date that firefighter Sasha McCray has had in the last year has been orchestrated by matchmaker Samantha Monteiro through Perfect Match, Inc., and she still has nothing to show for it. After....
Self-made business owner Dale McGuire has always enjoyed two things in life: women and fast cars....
A prominent figure amongst New York City's fashion elite, Elena Vega is a successful businesswoman and single mother to an adorable three-year-old son, Lucas. Her love life, however, is lacking, as those closest to her keep pointing out....
At 12-years-old, Claire Barker developed a massive crush on her best friend Sarah's older sister, the handsome, butch Alex Williams....
When Courtney loses her father and returns to Tanner Peak to take control of the family store, Margaret comes face-to-face with her past....
This is the story of young Tamras, as she embarks on her journey to become a warrior's apprentice....
Caren Gray manages Belle Vie, a sprawling antebellum plantation that sits between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where the past and the present coexist uneasily....
Emily Parker has a busy life over which she maintains iron-clad control. Raised by drug-addicted parents, she’s used to taking care of the people around her....
Some things are better than chocolate.... Molly O'Brien is a sweetheart. Her friends and neighbors all think so....
Would you risk your life for love? Rose Clyde lost her girlfriend six months ago in a tragic accident. She accepts a strange job offer - working the front desk of an old hotel up the Maine coast....
New York Times best-selling author of Affinity, Sarah Waters was named Author of the Year at the 2003 British Book Awards. Fingersmith was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize, and was chosen as book of the year 2002 by more organizations than any other novel. Orphaned as an infant, Susan Trinder was raised by Mrs. Sucksby, “mother” to a host of pickpockets and con artists. To pay her debt, she joins legendary thief Gentleman in swindling an innocent woman out of her inheritence. But the two women form an unanticipated bond and the events that follow will surprise every listener.
I average about 3 audio books a week, so believe me, when I say this was my best listen of the year, it is not faint praise! If you love books set in England of the 1800's, books with intrigue, mystery, villany and even a slight bit of eroticism. This is the book for you also. The twists and turns are so remarkable, I actually stayed up because I had to finish. I found myself sometimes laughing and sometimes gasping at the sheer audacity of some of the characters. Just as I knew I had the game figured out, the book revealed something else that blew my theory totally away. Forget "The Crimson Petal and the White", Ms Waters knows how to write a totally spellbinding period novel that revels the ugly underside of London, and for that matter the ugly of the upperclass also, and she still managed to end the book in the most satisfactory manner. I highly recommend. Now, onto my next Sarah Waters novel! First, I must read about this author!
41 of 41 people found this review helpful
This book is broken into 3 parts. The first part follows a young orphan Susan Trendor raised in the manner of Oliver to be a thief by Mrs. Sucksby. Mrs. Sucksby treats Susan like a daughter and encourages her to go along with Gentleman's plot to defraud the rich young woman Maud Lilly by becoming Maud's maid in the great country estate where Maud is being raised by her uncle. Susan will be able to bring home 3000 pounds to her beloved Mrs. Sucksby if she helps Gentleman to woo and wed Maud. Gentleman's plan involves defrauding Maud of her fortune by having her placed in an insane asylum. The problem arises when Susan falls in love with Maud. Will she be able to carry out the plan?
The 2nd part centers on Maud after her marriage to Gentleman. We now discover some unpleasant truths about the true nature of the fraud and who is hurt by it. The 3rd part has both Maud and Susan seeking retribution for all the wrongs done against each of them.
This was an immensely listenable book even though it is long. I enjoyed the way the author described life in the truly dirt poor part of London where Susan is raised to be clever with her fingers at stealing. While Maud is raised in a great, dark, dreary, country estate in the country to be a different kind of fingersmith--a sort of secretary to her brutal and crazed uncle--in pornography.
Waters characterizes both girls as neither wan nor fragile even in the most horrific circumstances. She gives them personalities that make you cheer for them as the same time that you question some of their choices.
This book is well written with enough mystery to keep you listening long after you should get out of your car and go into the house to fix supper. I highly recommend this if you love period novels without the typical bodice rippers.
31 of 32 people found this review helpful
"Fingersmith" is the award-winning, masterful exhibition of Sarah Waters' exceptional skills in creating settings so real the reader can see them clearly and characters who are fully developed and who act like real human beings. In this book, the setting created is Dickension London and neighboring areas, and the characters, both lower and upper class, are ones who would feel perfectly comfortable among the characters created in Dickens' various stories.
Add to that setting and those characters a plot which would outdo even Dickens with its many twists and turns, leading the reader toward an inevitable conclusion, then at the last moment adding one more element and turning toward another inevitable conclusion, and then turning again. Waters keeps you guessing almost up to the end.
From the first words of "Fingersmith," I was completely engrossed. First because of the exceptional voice of narrator Juanita McMahon, quite low and velvety, speaking in the accents of the London slums. Then I became caught up with the characters and became embroiled in the plot. I remained engrossed right to the very last words of the story, more than 23 hours later. By then, I had laughed and cried at and with these characters, and I didn't want to let them go. I wished for a longer book or a sequel.
Some people have called this soft lesbian porn because the relationship between the two leading characters, both women, is gradually recognized by each of them as being love.
There is only one scene which contains a brief physical act between them, and it is described in such euphemistic Victorian terms that our more hardened modern sensibilities might barely notice it. For each woman, it is the love she feels for the other that is important and is almost the only source of joy in her life.
If you like Dickensian stories or settings, you should enjoy this book. Even if you don't enjoy such things, but do appreciate exceptional writing skill, I would recommend this book to you. There are passages in "Fingersmith" which were so well drawn that they took my breath away. Obviously, I recommend this book very highly.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
The story and the narration are gripping, mesmerizing. I could not stop listening. This book kept me awake, feeling exited and edgy. Twists of the plot are surprisingly unpredictable, portraying of human condition so vivid, so true. The narration was wonderful, masterfully conveying depth of emotions, inner life of the characters.
A friend called the book "soft Victorian, lesbian porn". I completely disagree. This story is so genuine, it feels like it is reaching down into the very depth of the human heart. Loved it.
20 of 21 people found this review helpful
It is an amazing book that grips you to the end. Extremely well narrated as well.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
I could never see very far around the bend ahead, and the story galloped for most of the read. Sarah Waters writes scenes that are richly atmospheric, and Juanita McMahon's voices are magic in themselves, so even when we're in suspense, waiting for what seems inevitable (so you may think), the wait is interesting and I always felt as if I were in the room with these characters.
I love historical English fiction and it's nice to get away from historical figures and into the lives of ordinary people. The comparison to Dickens is inescapable in that these are the struggles of the poor and it's a cruel world out there. It's also sexy and tricky. This is smart and well-crafted and an escapist reader's delight.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
If you like backdrops of tough, old timey England, and you like strong female characters with pluck, then read this book. You'll get all that and more with Fingersmith. This story pulled me in like a bedtime story for grown-ups. I felt I was on an magical ride with the heroine, caring about her ups and downs, and wishing it all lasted longer.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
It's not prerequisite that you like everyone in a book. Which is good because Fingersmith left me liking no one. They were all borderline sociopaths, tricking each other in nasty ways. It's full of twists and turns and very exciting, but in the end, ANYTHING that happened bad to any of them simply just seemed justified. I'm not sorry I read it and its not poorly written. But I did find in unappealing.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up Fingersmith in three words, what would they be?
Keeps you reading! I did not want to put it down.
What did you like best about this story?
Sarah Waters has a brilliant way of setting a landscape and of nurturing the subtleties of relationships as they blossom. The story is so vivid!
Have you listened to any of Juanita McMahon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Yes! I love Juanita McMahon's performances! She is one of the best audiobook narrators I have ever listened to. She does distinct and different voices for all the characters. It really brings the book to life. Wonderful!
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
The twisting tangling story of two women trapped in a scheme and at odds with their own desires.
Any additional comments?
This is one of the best novels I have ever read.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I loved this book ! Admittedly, there are a few over-long sections ( part 2 was a bit slow, but having a second perspective on the events in part 1 was intregel to the dynamic of the story ). The discriptions were almost cinematic, placing the reader in the scene. And, of course, the narrator ! Fantastic performance ! If you enjoy atmospheric stories set in Victorian England, similar to a Charles Dickons epic, this is for you.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful