Limonessa's Reviews > Fingersmith

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
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's review
Oct 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: adult-fiction

I have to admit that throughout almost all of Fingersmith the main random thoughts sweeping across the desolate land of my mind were along the lines of: WTF? WHAT? WHAT DID JUST HAPPEN?

This is an intricate, ambitious, original, jaw-dropping, gut-punching, heart-wrenching plot for which I will NOT give you a synopsis. First, because I wouldn't know where to start from and second because it's better for you if you know NOTHING about it. Then you'll have my same random thoughts, as stated above.

I'll just give you a few fundamental points: you need to know it's set in Victorian England, it's about thieves, an elaborate scam and it is not for people who don't tolerate gratuitous cruelty, mind games and deceptions in their books.
Actually, I'd say its main theme is just that: DECEPTION.

This is not what I would usually pick up: books that keep continuously on edge, anxious, oppressed, frustrated, puzzled, even nauseated at times are so not my cup of tea. So while on the one hand I gave it 4 stars because I did like it, on the other hand I cringe when I look at it, even now, a few days later. But I guess it's just what I am meant to feel, for such a book. So yes, a success in its genre.

My main complaint is its length. Its change of pace unsettled me, starting off as dull, then giving you a big punch in the face around one third in, then lulling again for quite a long chunk to finish off with a great epilogue. So while some parts where breath-taking and put me in a frenzy (I swear I was tachycardic), some other parts kind of put me in a stupor (while monsoons where still blowing my mind and I was trying to figure out what could possibly happen next.)

All in all a great read but not for the faint of heart. I'm pretty sure I want to read something else by this author, once I get over the persecutory delusions I developed with Fingersmith.
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Reading Progress

October 4, 2011 – Shelved
October 9, 2011 – Started Reading
October 9, 2011 –
0.0% "readalong with my favorite croatian person in the world."
October 9, 2011 –
3.0% "Oh my, how have I never thought to give my kids some gin to quiet them down? O_o"
October 10, 2011 –
October 11, 2011 –
32.0% "In Maja's words: holy crapola!"
October 11, 2011 –
October 12, 2011 –
64.0% "I'm done for the day."
October 14, 2011 –
October 16, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-50 of 77) (77 new)

Limonessa to be precise: from Croatia.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Oh, so all those Croatians in South America don't count?! Good to know!

I loved how at the beginning the little thief said that Sue "started up with the sterics". Lol. Don't you start with the sterics now, you hear me?!

Limonessa I won't, I swear.
I noticed the sterics but I got distracted by the gin thing.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Lmao, I'm still trying to review the book about crazy Soviets. I need to get it out of my system. I should be done soon.

Limonessa How old do you think John is?

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) She's jumping back and forth through time. He was 14 when the story started, but the China part confuses me.

See?! I'm getting my act together.

Limonessa I thought he was 14 too but then doesn't it feel like he has some kind of romantic/sexual involvement with Dainty - who is 20 something?

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Yes, but she's none too bright. It clearly said that he's 14, although it doesn't make much sense. She also said that he looks six compared to Gentleman.

This just made me laugh: Dainty, pass me an infant, I need something to squeeze.

Haha, that woman is all heart.

Limonessa yeah, that was a good one.

so he is actually 14. Eww.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) How far did you get? I have a feeling I should hurry up. But only a book this engaging could have pulled me out of Siberia.

What's for lunch, darling?! I'm making pumpkin muffins. :D not for lunch, obviously.

Limonessa i'm currently munching/sipping on a bowl of lemongrass thai noodles.I am also probably the only Italian doing that right at this moment in this country.
Dont hurry up, i am not too far ahead.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I am jealous of the noodles. I want some.

She's about to leave, that's where I am, and I'm very anxious about it all.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) @16%
(view spoiler)

Limonessa I wouldn't be surprised if they did. Mh.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) It would be hilarious though. I'm not even sure why. Just not what I expected. I'm close to 20% now. Like with the freaking Glass Lake, it takes forever to get anywhere.

Limonessa Well, it's a big book.
(view spoiler)

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Where are you now? Did you get to the part where he eats the pear she painted? How can she not see through that? How dense can she be?
It wasn't even funny. :D

Limonessa I'm at 18%, a little behind you.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Well, then you're there. I'm at 20 and he is a creep. :D

(view spoiler)

Limonessa Mmh. Maybe. :D

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Around 25%
Whoa! :D

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Aren't I eloquent?!

Limonessa Argh! I just wrote a review but NOW I am going to catch up. I'm at 22%.

Limonessa You are the eloquentest person I know :D
I even make up words for you, see?

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) So they ate the pear. Yuck! :D
I'm really not that far ahead. You wrote a review? Yey!

Limonessa What's with you and the pear? Is it because he touched it with his fingers and your inner germophobe finds that unacceptable?

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I don't know. It was just such a cheesy move, I don't know how she didn't see right through him.
A part later on pissed me off. Come on! No one is that naive.

Hey, we're a fine pair, aren't we? You are a wordsmith so you make words and I use them. Awesome.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) @31% What is going on?!??!?!??!??!?

Limonessa *hurries*

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) I've just been punched in the face. Mhm. I feel stupid.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) @37% I am still in total shock and a little disgusted, to be honest, but finally interested.

Sonnet, I shall now stop until you tell me to continue. This part we must discuss and speculate about the next. Otherwise there really is no point.

Pompous enough, darling? ;)

Limonessa I'm at 27%.
Will tell you as soon as I get there, they are taking the horse.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) No worries, take your time. I don't mind at all. It's getting interesting, isn't it?! I never thought they'd make it that far.

Limonessa 35%: ok, now I am disgusted too.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) The worst part for me was when she started beating up that first maid. I thought, what a bitch!

message 36: by Maja (The Nocturnal Library) (last edited Oct 12, 2011 01:06AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) @45%
I still can't believe how thoroughly she fooled us all. It's very interesting to see all those events from a different side. And we thought Sue was devious!

Oh, wasn't it creepy how calmly she read all those things to her uncle and his disgusting friends? And that guy who always watched her while she climbed the stairs? Perv!

Limonessa I am really wondering where this is going. The jaw droppers are not finished I'm sure. But it might go as you anticipated yesterday.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) You mean girls against boys? At this point, I wish Sue would trick them both.
You still like?

Limonessa Yeah, it's definitely holding my interest. Especially during my wax :D

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Hahaha, thank you for making me realise and appreciate my own comfortable chair. Everything seems nice compared to such torture.

I tried to read last night, I really did. I fell asleep. :(

Limonessa Well, I read like two pages while waxing. It can get tricky :D
Now I'm off to the gym, I'll read later! Mwah!

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Go work your ass off... literally! :D

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Ok, here's what I don't get: why did they need Sue in the first place? Couldn't they just run away, get married and live as they please? She only needed to marry in order to inherit, not end up in a nuthouse. I don't get it.

Limonessa Well, she would have been ruined, there would have been a scandal. He devises this plan so she would have anonymity, a new life. If you notice, he says that there's talk of Maud in London, of what she does in Briar, and worse.

Limonessa But you're right, the plot is pretty convoluted and I keep on thinking, couldn't they have done it differently?

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) @59%
it gets even more complicated. It gave me a headache, I swear. I'll stop here and give you a chance to catch up.
She could have taken on a new identity even without Sue, I think. She would have disappeared just the same. But it seems now that there is another person in the mix. Oh, dear.

Limonessa O_o. Ok, I'm at 50%. I'll catch up in a jiffy.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) Hahaha, I love that expression! It's so funny once you pronounce it! And OMG; now at least everything sort of makes sense.
But someone will certainly die, it was implied at the beginnig, and I wonder who it will be.

Limonessa Where was it implied?! I missed it.

Maja (The Nocturnal Library) At the very beginning, Sue mentioned that she wasn't a murderer.. yet, and Maud said something similar later on.

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