I’ve loved Sarah Waters’ Tipping the Velvet and really enjoyed The Little Stranger. As excited as I am about The Paying Guests (I just started the audiobook narrated by the delicious Juliet Stevenson), I thought it would be fun to read something from her backlist. When the Fingersmith eBook went on sale last month the deal was sealed. So sealed, in fact, I immediately started to design bookmarks for participants in my head. Now I’m making it official.
First, here’s the publisher’s summary of Fingersmith:
Sue Trinder is an orphan, left as an infant in the care of Mrs. Sucksby, a “baby farmer,” who raised her with unusual tenderness, as if Sue were her own. Mrs. Sucksby’s household, with its fussy babies calmed with doses of gin, also hosts a transient family of petty thieves—fingersmiths—for whom this house in the heart of a mean London slum is home.
One day, the most beloved thief of all arrives—Gentleman, an elegant con man, who carries with him an enticing proposition for Sue: If she wins a position as the maid to Maud Lilly, a naïve gentlewoman, and aids Gentleman in her seduction, then they will all share in Maud’s vast inheritance. Once the inheritance is secured, Maud will be disposed of—passed off as mad, and made to live out the rest of her days in a lunatic asylum.
With dreams of paying back the kindness of her adopted family, Sue agrees to the plan. Once in, however, Sue begins to pity her helpless mark and care for Maud Lilly in unexpected ways…But no one and nothing is as it seems in this Dickensian novel of thrills and reversals.
Would you like to read it along with me during the month of October? I’ll be reading the eBook version, but feel free to read as works best for you. If you happen to be reading by audio, please feel free to talk about that experience as well.
Each Tuesday during the month of October I’ll be hosting a Fingersmith discussion. Here is the schedule:
October 7: Chapters 1-5
October 14: Chapters 6-10
October 21: Chapters 11-14
October 28: Chapters 15-17
Participants will each be receiving their own handmade, limited edition (as in I’m too lazy to make extras) Fingersmith Read-a-Long bookmark. I’ll be working on the prototypes this weekend and I’ll post them as soon as I can.
Here’s too a fun October read. It will be interesting to compare this to The Paying Guests.