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Editorial Reviews

Fingersmith is the dazzling audiobook written by Sarah Waters and narrated by the ever-popular Juanita McMahon. This is the enigmatic story of the fingersmith’s, working their way through the pockets and purses of 1862 London. It is a curious look at their lives told through the eyes of a young girl growing up among them. She has been unwittingly set on a path since her birth that is as mysterious as the family who care for her and the young orphan living nearby that she can't help but feel a connection with. This story is enchanting as much as it is suspenseful. Available now from Audible.

Publisher's Summary

London 1862: Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves - fingersmiths - under the rough but loving care of Mrs Sucksby and her 'family'. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue's fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away.

©2002 Sarah Waters (P)2002 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Sarah Waters is one of the best storytellers alive today " Matt Thorne, ( Independent on Sunday)
"Intensely atmospheric, impeccably paced, and cunningly structured, this is that rarity in contemporary fiction: a deeply serious novel that is also a thumping great read" Douglas Kennedy, ( Mail on Sunday)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • joanna
  • 10-02-14

Brilliant!

If you could sum up Fingersmith in three words, what would they be?

clever, gripping, enjoyable

What does Juanita McMahon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She is one of the best narrators I have listened too (and I have listened to 1000's of audiobooks) she really brought all the characters to life and has a beautiful voice. I wlll be buying more books narrated by her!

Any additional comments?

I have listened to all Sarah Waters books now and all are absolutely brilliant, and coupled with such an excellent narrator they make very gripping reads! I thoroughly recommend!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Kate
  • 01-11-15

Very well read, brilliant story.

Lovely listen, fantastic reader, gripping storyline. Overall, time well spent. If you want a book representative of Victorian England, this is definitely worth it!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Harrow
  • 02-23-15

Excellent narration of very good novel

This was the first Sarah Waters book I have read, chosen because recent newspaper reviews deemed it one of her best. There certainly was much to like: an original plot, convincing central characters and a definite Dickensian quality to the cast of minor crooks, liars and perverts.

It is generally a well paced novel and the narrator does an excellent job of sustaining atmosphere.

Recommended , particularly for those who want a longer listen.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Kirstine
  • 06-11-15

Intriguing, surprising and engaging story

I’ve only recently discovered this fine novelist through reading her book The Paying Guests. Fingersmith is an earlier novel but has the same strengths of strong characterisation, pacy story with surprises along the way.

The narrator is outstandingly good as she made the book sound more like a drama as she brought the various players to life with her fine ability to create different voices.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • GJ Scott
  • 01-09-15

Perfect.

Just brilliant.
I loved the narrator who brought the characters to life.
The story was very Dickensian and completely unpredictable.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • lesley
  • 12-05-14

beautifully written, beautifully read

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I think this to be Sarah Waters finn st book to date, her amazing descriptions of Victorian London and asylum life are so vivid and the fast paced plot carries you on an amazing journey. Exploring the fragile nature of identites based on ones ancestors and the mutability of human nature, how two main characters change and grown through the story. It is a great book, beautifuly written

What did you like best about this story?

The opening descriptions of the house in london.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Ionaeds
  • 02-13-15

very enjoyable!

I couldn't stop listening! Great story and a brilliant narrator. Accessible Dickens, gripping and well paced for a good, long listen.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Myles
  • 12-02-15

Olivia Twist

As I listened to the first few chapters, my initial thoughts were pessimistic. A couple of Artful Dodgers attending an actual play of Oliver Twist? Unsubtle, I grumbled. Returning to the Fagin-esque inhabitants of the robber's den? Uninspired, I huffed.

But then the plot started to thicken.

This is a dual-perspective tale of deception set in a fairly clichéd Victorian London and the countryside nearby. The main character, Sue, is a fingersmith, brought up in the poorer part of London to a hodgepodge family of thieves and swindlers. As the hallowed 'scam to make their fortunes' is plotted, Sue finds herself learning how to be maid to a lady, her co-protagonist, Maud.

To reveal more would be a disservice, as the twists and turns throughout are part of what make this tale so enjoyable. The characters, while dredging Victorian conventions, are a colourful bunch and I loved and hated my way through them. Juanita McMahon's narration is superb, if a little "gor blimey gov'nor", and she creates an absorbing atmosphere with emotionally powerful characters.

At almost 24 hours, however, Fingersmith is slightly too long, and at times I did let frustration spoil my constant enjoyment when arguments went over the same ground, over and over (Maud, I'm looking at you). But this is a fairly minor criticism as by the end I found myself not wanting to leave Waters' world and I'll happily return for a revisit in the future.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • zomodo
  • 10-27-15

Really really good

I don't want to spoil it but this was good and kept me guessing. The pace was good, the narration excellent, the story flawless. Grabbed me from the get go, no need to wait for the story to 'catch' - it had me at hello

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Miss
  • 05-26-15

Truly amazing

I watched the film many years ago, but the book is even better. Highly recommend.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Melissathebrave
  • 07-13-17

well written but a bit dreary

not as fun as I expected, but I guess that's ye old England for you!

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  • wesley
  • 04-25-17

captivating and vivid

outstanding story with many twists. I couldn't stop listening. in every chapter, more of the plot would unfold. captivating! Waters' gift of painting a picture so vividly kept me among the characters for the duration of the novel. stunningly read too, Juanita managed to portray every character (and there were many) with their own personality through only her reading.
cannot wait for the next riveting read.
thank you!

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  • Chloe Starick
  • 02-20-17

Plot Twists

This is a great story with excellent characters and lots of plot twists.
The narrator does a beautiful job.

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  • ann
  • 03-19-16

must have

well written, and brilliantly read as well. total immersion into a different time, had me on the edge of my seat and was very upset when my lifes duties interrupted my listening....

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  • Cathie Dalliwall
  • 04-27-15

A good story

A good story, brought to life by Juanita McMahon, but I found it to be too long and drawn out.

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  • Amanda
  • 04-22-15

Brilliant

Yet again a beautifully written and well presented book by Sarah waters. I'm so happy I refrained from watching the tv programme and listened to this