Sophia's Reviews > Affinity

Affinity by Sarah Waters
Rate this book
Clear rating

F 50x66
's review
Feb 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, historical-fiction, london, mental-illness, paranormal, uk, queer
Read in February, 2011

Affinity, second in line behind Sarah Water's debut novel Tipping the Velvet, continues the same lesbian-Victorian England theme, with gothic splashes added in with exploration of the Spiritualist movement. The narrative is carried by the two protagonists across two different timelines. We are allowed to read the secret diary of Margaret Prior, who takes up a role as a Lady Visitor at Millbank Prison (where the Tate Gallery now stands) as part of her recovery from a suicide attempt. She becomes progressively drawn to Selina Dawes, a young spirit-medium charged with fraud and assault after a séance gone bad, who shares the events leading up to her imprisonment. Less overtly sexual than Tipping the Velvet, Affinity is much more subdued in tone. The first three parts forming much of the background of Margaret's home life and prison life seem dreary and go slowly, but towards a clever and suspenseful climax. As usual, Waters's prose transports us to the period, showing how the role of women is quite stifled. In summary, a good historical novel with gothic and lesbian overtones.
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Affinity.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.