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Fingersmith: shortlisted for the Booker Prize

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9781860498831: Fingersmith: shortlisted for the Booker Prize
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The book that inspired Park Chan-wook's astonishing film The Handmaiden.Shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker PrizeLondon 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.

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Review:

Fingersmith is the third slice of engrossing lesbian Victoriana from Sarah Waters. Although lighter and more melodramatic in tone than its predecessor Affinity, this hypnotic suspense novel is awash with all manner of gloomy Dickensian leitmotifs: pickpockets; orphans; grim prisons; lunatic asylums; "laughing villains" and, of course, "stolen fortunes and girls made out to be mad". Oliver Twist (which is mentioned on the opening page), The Woman in White and The Prince and the Pauper all exert an influence on it but none overawe. Like Peter Ackroyd, Waters has an uncanny gift for inventive reconstruction.

Divided into three parts, the tale is narrated by two orphaned girls whose lives are inextricably linked. It begins in a grimy thieves kitchen in Borough, South London with 17-year-old orphan Susan Trinder. She has been raised by Mrs Sucksby, a cockney Ma Baker, in a household of fingersmiths (pickpockets), coiners and burglars. One evening Richard "Gentleman" Rivers, a handsome confidence man, arrives. He has an elaborate scheme to defraud Maud Lilly, a wealthy heiress. If Sue will help him she'll get a share of the "shine". Duly installed in the Lillys' country house as Maud's maid, Sue finds that her mistress is virtually a prisoner. Maud's eccentric Uncle Christopher, an obsessive collector of erotica (loosely modelled on Henry Spenser Ashbee) controls every aspect of her life. Slowly a curious intimacy develops between the two girls and as Gentleman's plans take shape, Sue begins to have doubts. The scheme is finally hatched but as Maud commences her narrative it suddenly becomes more than a tad difficult to tell quite who has double-crossed who. Waters' penchant for Byzantine plotting can get a bit exhausting but even at its densest moments--and remember this is smoggy London circa 1862--it remains mesmerising. A damning critique of Victorian moral and sexual hypocrisy, a gripping melodrama and a love story to boot, this book ingeniously reworks some truly classic themes.--Travis Elborough

Review:

Totally immersive with brilliantly drawn characters . . . a page-turning thriller while managing to be a tender love story (Adam Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

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Virago, 2002
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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The book that inspired Park Chan-wook's astonishing film The Handmaiden.Shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker PrizeLondon 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. Seller Inventory # HUK9781860498831

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. The book that inspired Park Chan-wook's astonishing film The Handmaiden.Shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker PrizeLondon 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. Seller Inventory # HUK9781860498831

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. 'We were all more or less thieves at Lant Street. But we were that kind of thief that rather eased the dodgy deed along, than did it . We could pass anything, anything at all, at speeds which would astonish you. There was only one thing, in fact, that had come and got stuck - one thing that had somehow withstood the tremendous pull of that passage - one thing that never had a price put to it. I mean of course, Me.' Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, is born among petty thieves - fingersmiths - in London's Borough. From the moment she draws breath, her fate is linked to another orphan, growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away .A modern day Dickens, Sarah Waters is one of Britain's rising stars. Fingersmith moves between the criminal underworld and gloomy gothic mansions of 1860s London in a story of fraud, insanity and secret passion. Set in a den of thieves, it focuses on Susan, a pickpocket, who is persuaded by her cohorts to pose as a lady's maid and infiltrate the household of Maud, a young heiress with a large inheritance. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9781860498831

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