Jul 26, 2019

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Here’s what I knew about Sarah Waters’ Fingersmith before: Victorian crime novel; surprise plot twist; made-for-tv movie starring Sally Hawkins (which I can’t decide if I want to watch, or not).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
And now that I’ve read it? Well… I kind of just want to leave it at that. This is the kind of book you can’t talk about without ruining it a little bit.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It reminded me a bit of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca—that gothic, creepy feeling; the close first-person narration that makes you feel as cramped and stifled as the women you’re reading about, trying to survive in a hostile society; a big, drafty house that’s as much a presence as any of its human inhabitants.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
These characters insinuate themselves into your consciousness. When you’re with one, you’re wondering what the others are getting up to, and when you finally manage to put the book down in order to, you know, do things and go places, you’re left with an itchy feeling, like there’s some shenanigans going on while you’re not looking.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Waters’ visceral style insists that you feel the physicality of 1860s London. It’s cold, dull, dirty, and damp. It’s choked with polluted fog and coal smoke. It’s suffocating and stifling, with bed linens that feel like sheets of pastry, and leering men around every corner. I was thoroughly heebie-jeebied.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This book is creepily captivating, gorgeously grisly, and shocking (and sexy) as hell. With a surprise that blindsided me more than the Red Wedding.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Samantha Pollack

About Sam

Samantha Pollack is a Copywriter & Creative Director who works with ethically minded, mission driven businesses who are actively trying to reshape our culture (and possibly tear down the patriarchy). She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Business Owner, a 12-week online program that helps HSPs & neurodivergent business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work.

Sam also writes about feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and whatever else is on her mind. She currently lives in Asheville, NC.

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