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
"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)
Lovely listen, fantastic reader, gripping storyline. Overall, time well spent. If you want a book representative of Victorian England, this is definitely worth it!
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
The opening descriptions of the house in london.
clever, gripping, enjoyable
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!
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!
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.
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.
An intriguing novel full of shocks and surprises, twists and turns. I wanted to finish it to see what the conclusion would be, but at the same time didn't want it to end
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.
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