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 writes creative copy (mostly emails) for feminist companies and/or thought leaders who are working to build a fairer, more connected culture. She’s also the founder of The Highly Sensitive Entrepreneur, a 6-week course that helps HSP business owners create healthier, more sustainable systems in their work.
She publishes frequent essays on feminism, privilege, pop culture, entrepreneurship, the creative process, and more on her website, cultofpersonality.co. She currently lives in Asheville, NC, and while she can *technically* work from anywhere, she prefers her adventures laptop-free.
Emails for cult thought leaders.
Want to learn how to craft emails that inspire action and engagement WITHOUT the “tried and true” (cough: patriarchal) norms we’ve all been taught?
I’m doing it, and I can show you how to do it, too.
(But sometimes, I also like to write about the books I’m reading, or the creative process, or the entrepreneurial experience, or why I hate Steve Jobs, or how I met my BFF. I’ll send you emails like that, too.)
*Just kidding. It’s only an email list.
Books. Cats. Rants. Drawrings.
(and every couple months or so, an unexplained absence 🤷🏻)