Sunflower's Reviews > Tipping the Velvet

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
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's review
Jan 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: e-books, fiction-read-2012, historical-fiction
Read from January 20 to 24, 2012

Ok, I'll admit to leaving this one on my TBR shelf for ages because of what I'd heard about it-but it's a good read. Lesbian sex scenes, cross-dressing, and prostitution aside, it's really a story about an oyster-girl who fell in love, got hurt, went off exploring life until she was left with pretty much nothing, then found herself and found love again. Simple, huh?
Along the way the reader is immersed in the London of the 1890's, with its class distinctions, attitudes towards women (women wearing trousers? never!) and seamy underside in a society which on the surface was very restrictive and pious. This sounds boring, but it isn't. There were times when I was heartily sick of Nancy and her endless mistakes, but for me she redeemed herself in the end.

And yes, another one down from the "1001 books you must read before you die". Only another 800-odd to go!

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