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Group Read Discussions > Fingersmith - spoilers

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10106 comments Mod
let em rippppppp

message 2: by Lu (new)

Lu | 37 comments With 150 pages remaining, I'm trying to figure out how Maud gets out of this mess. Does Susan gain freedom?

message 3: by Matt (new)

Matt Sinclair (cflames55117) I just finished Part 1, and I have to say, the plot twist at the end was pretty shocking to say the least.

message 4: by MichelleCH (new)

MichelleCH (lalatina) Matt wrote: "I just finished Part 1, and I have to say, the plot twist at the end was pretty shocking to say the least."
Yes, I can't put the book down...interesting how it is all about perspective.

message 5: by Heather (new)

Heather (hkhart) | 3 comments I'm loving it so far! Just started part 2 and don't want to put it down!

message 6: by Elena (last edited Sep 07, 2010 03:38PM) (new)

Elena I read this book some time ago and really liked it. Sorry I don't remember the plot so I can't contribute much.

message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 437 comments I was immediately pulled in by this book. I loved the first part, although I thought early that Sue was going to be double crossed. I just had no idea why. Covering the some of the same ground with Maud was interesting, but sometimes tedious. I was still really into the plot, though. The end just seemed to come undone. I was disappointed in part three, but it was still a pretty good read.

message 8: by Valentina (new)

Valentina (valca85) | 4 comments I read this a few months ago and I really liked it. I was completely thrown by the twist, or should I say twists. I thought the author did an incredible job in keeping us in the dark, and the last part of the book is nervewracking. It was also my first LGBT book, so I'm glad it was a good one.

message 9: by Jeanne (new)

Jeanne | 3 comments I thought something was up due to Sue always thinking Maud had a "strange look" but didnt see the double cross coming!

message 10: by Claire (new)

Claire (clairebear8) | 514 comments I read this book a year or so ago and was totally surprised with the twist! I loved the book, the time period, the characters, etc. Some of her novels have been made into movies for tv by the BBC.

message 11: by Kaion (last edited Sep 26, 2010 08:27AM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) Finished it yesterday. Tired fluff, though probably any book that starts off by reminding me of Dickens is generally going to suffer in comparison. Too much filler!

message 12: by El (new)

El Kaion, I also finished it yesterday. It was okay, as I mentioned in the No-Spoilers thread, but I wished it had been better. I started out reading Waters thinking she was fantastic, but now I'm wondering if she's really just a one-trick pony. Yes, there was a fun plot-twist, but the relationships between her characters are beginning to leave a lot to be desired.

message 13: by Kaion (last edited Sep 26, 2010 05:36PM) (new)

Kaion (kaionvin) The characters were very thin, which disappointed me... and the twists weren't as shocking as Waters seemed to think they were, which meant the whole book just felt incredibly drawn out (especially the first 150 pages, and then the repetition of the same part again from Maud's perspective).

I mean, geez, this is a salacious story! Con men! Underage Victorian lesbians! Pornography! Baby switching! But instead it took itself way too seriously and didn't ultimately deliver on these premises. I wanted to see the thieving underground in action, the porn underground in action, the passion/fear of young love.

The beginning seems to be a call to unveil the Dickensian myth of women [the whole super virtuous or the polar opposite, crafty(? I think I've got the wrong word for it here, or unfortunate??)]. Of course, not limited to Dickens. But yeah, although Waters peppers the narrative with all these examples of women being victimized or gaming the system (the asylum, the baby switch, "mother"-ing as profit, etc), she doesn't ultimately address it with any panache.

The most important note of the ending is that Maud has started writing erotic fiction herself (I assume she has enough inheritance to not be forced into it by need). Her uncle desexualized/dehumanized her, his friends fetish-ized her... and her journey is that she is able to instead reclaim her vitality, her sexuality (her ability to act) from their attempts to make her an object. And then resilient enough to continue reclaiming this by raising her own voice into the fray. It's a damn big moment, and we don't really get to see any of it to an extent it makes Waters seem a little tone deaf to the point of it all.

Also since, for all the "moral ambiguity" (aka gullibility), Sue and Maud do end up being victimized a lot.

Thematically or perhaps some similar elements** made it sort of reminded me of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, which I thought was a much more successful novel overall. 'Cept there were no lesbians, so there's that.

**re-examination of literary women (Dickens/Cinderella); art (erotica/painting); historical (19th century London/17th century Holland); central focus on two teenage females, one a clever servant, the other an eccentric/exploited 'mistress'... and err, "gray" mother figure, to say the least.

message 14: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Phillips | 133 comments I finished reading Fingersmith a few days ago and very much enjoyed the book. I do think that there were some very scandalous topics in the book and hearing more about those details would have been great! However there was enough detail on those topics (at least for me) to keep me engaged and also not to much detail to deviate from central plot.

Also I really liked the way the the author perhaps underplayed the scandalous topics. To the characters whose lives were embroiled in scandal(such as Sue and Maud) they, probably on a day to day level, did not think thievery and exposure to books with sexual material was such an extraordinary thing. After all it was the life that they were "born" into and really the only one that each knew from a fairly early age.

message 15: by Karina (new)

Karina I am late on this, but school has been putting me behind on my reading and will continue to do so until my winter break!

So, I just finished reading the book and while I enjoyed the plot twists, someone had mentioned earlier that this book takes itself too seriously and I completely agree. The repetition of the point of views of Susan and Maud's on the same length of time was very tedious for me. The book started off quite slow until that plot twist at the end of part 1 and I felt that Water's kept putting in these plot twists to keep the readers' on their toes and I felt it was completely too much. While the book picked up more steam in the end, I felt that most of part 2 could have been done away with!

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