Sunday, 1 June 2014


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Sarah Waters is a genius. A twisty, little genius. She has this ability to lead you along a story, where you are all comfortable with how it's going, and how it got there. But then she completely spins you around without warning. Everything you relied on is wrong, and yet makes complete sense just like the story you believed in the first place. And you feel so goddamn stupid that you never, ever saw it coming. But it's okay, you'll pay attention now, you've worked out her ruse. Then BAM! She does it again! And again and again... genius.

Fingersmith, from the three books I have read of hers so far, is the most adept at this. Possibly because the subject matter lends itself more easily to this. The book focuses on two characters playing a con on a rich, young woman in order to access her fortune. The list of characters feature con artists, forgers and petty thieves. It's a clever concept and one Waters executes fantastically.

What I will remark on though, is that compared to Affinity and Tipping the Velvet, the sense of place is not as developed in this book. In her other books I almost felt that London was a character in her books, but not so much this time. Mind you, with so much else going on, this may not have been such a bad thing.

I'm sorry for the vague review. I just feel like if I discuss the book in more depth I will accidentally spoil something for you. I also do feel like I have hit a bit of Sarah Waters fatigue. I tend not to read the same author in a row very often, or even the same genre back to back. And I have read 3 of her books in 6 months, 2 within one month, due to group reads and buddy reads that came up and I didn't want to turn the opportunity down. I wonder if I had read it later if it would have been a 5 star for me? All speculation, but still a brilliant read any way.

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