Written on: 03/08/2009 by Janet Lewison (43 reviews written)
'But Briar crept on me. Briar absorbed me. Now I feel the simple weight of the woollen cloak with which I have covered myself and think, I shall never escape! I am not meant to escape! Briar will never let me!'
Sarah Waters revisits Victorian Fiction's dark, fetid, spaces and lifts away the veils of repression. And everywhere we look in Fingersmith we notice ink. This is not the respectable ink of a dry, frigid Casaubon in George Eliot's library at Middlemarch, or of the exasperated Caddy Jellyby in Bleak House, besmirched by her mother's prodigious neglect. No, this is the ink that secretly contaminates. This is the ink of furtive deadly contracts inked years before; of erotic pictures inked in embossed seemingly respectable books; of ink smudging the troubled profile of a mistress besotted by her maid, her 'pearl'. And telling us all these things, we have Susan Trinder a pickpocket, a 'fingersmith' who can't read anything, to whom the world of ink remains dangerously alien, dangerously beyond her control.
If you enjoy being tantalised, and like being provoked, then you must read this book. The plot devices in Fingersmith are as labyrinthine as human nature and just as shattering- I dare you not to cry out loud at the very best twist in Contemporary Writing. I dare you not to be applauding a passion that has to overcome love's most barbaric enemy of them all - betrayal.
'Her dress was dark, and long, yet fell not quite to the floor. It was silk, but fastened at the front. The highest hook was left undone. I saw the beating of her throat behind it. I looked away.
Then I looked back, into her eyes.
'I only want you,' I said.
As rated by real users
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