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Fingersmith Read-A-Long ~ Chapters 15 – 17

SpoiCover of Fingersmithler Alert: This post and any comments left on this post may contain spoilers from the Fingersmith in its entirety, including the ending.

Fingersmith bookmarks: I finally found the PERFECT things I needed to make the bookmarks at Michaels. Unfortunately, I left the bag in my backseat on a day when I took my daughter to the dump to clean out my car. She tossed the bag with other things and I didn’t catch it until we were driving away and I only had myself to blame. ACK!!! This does not mean you won’t be getting a bookmark. You most certainly will. I’m going to have to be creative with things I have at home. I can do that. If you read the book and provided comments, please send me your mailing address to literatehousewife (at) gmail (dot) com.

Here are my questions/comments about the last few chapters of Fingersmith:

1) Wasn’t it interesting how Mrs. Sucksby ended up predicting her own fate? I wonder how much of her time waiting for the execution thinking about that herself. Do you think that she ultimately repented for what she did to Susan? Knowing how her scheme ultimately played out, do you think she would have made the same decisions if had the chance to do it all again?

2) Despite the way that both Susan and Maud were ill used by Mrs. Sucksby’s schemes, is there any redemption for her in that the two lovers would never have met each other had she not set the whole thing into motion?

3) Do you think that Susan and Maud’s relationship will be life long? While I do believe that they love each other, they were both so very sheltered by their upbringings and have seen so little of the world and others. Once they’ve grown accustomed to their independence, will they change and grow apart?

4) Have you read of Sarah Waters’ other novels? If so, how does Fingersmith rank among her other work for you?

5) Do you have any other recommendations for those who loved Fingersmith?

Thank you so much for reading Fingersmith with me. It made for a fun October read.

3 Comments

  • At 2014.10.31 20:31, Susan/SC said:

    1) Wasn’t it interesting how Mrs. Sucksby ended up predicting her own fate? I wonder how much of her time waiting for the execution thinking about that herself. Do you think that she ultimately repented for what she did to Susan? Knowing how her scheme ultimately played out, do you think she would have made the same decisions if had the chance to do it all again? I always love when an author brings something like that full circle (the hanging death); then I wonder do they start out knowing that is how it is going to be or do they go back and rewrite chapter one when they decide on the end? I think Mrs. Sucksby would make a different choice. She seemed so desperate for Maud to love her at the end that there was a little part of me that felt sorry for her.
    2) Despite the way that both Susan and Maud were ill used by Mrs. Sucksby’s schemes, is there any redemption for her in that the two lovers would never have met each other had she not set the whole thing into motion? No. I am not a “there’s one person in the world for you” thinker. I think they would have found love with someone else each on their own path so Sucksby doesn’t get any pass for that!
    3) Do you think that Susan and Maud’s relationship will be life long? While I do believe that they love each other, they were both so very sheltered by their upbringings and have seen so little of the world and others. Once they’ve grown accustomed to their independence, will they change and grow apart? No, I don’t see that lasting forever. They each have a little seed of distrust planted in them from their trying to trick each other. I can see that coming to the surface anytime there is conflict. And, they are so young – they’ll grow and change.
    4) Have you read of Sarah Waters’ other novels? If so, how does Fingersmith rank among her other work for you? None others yet but have Paying Guest on the top of my list to read next! I am so glad you suggested reading Fingersmith – I loved it and I am a Sarah Waters fan now.
    5) Do you have any other recommendations for those who loved Fingersmith? The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (I think we read that one in the old Historical Fiction book club!) and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    Thank you, Jennifer! Really enjoyed the read along -made me slow down and not read it all in one big gulp and that is really a good thing – allowed me to savor what I had read and anticipate getting to read more the next week!I’ll email you my address for the bookmark and I’ll look forward to seeing what books other readers recommend.

    • At 2014.11.01 01:00, Literary Feline said:

      I was torn about Mrs. Sucksby’s feelings for Susan towards the end. I think she really did love her and think of her as her own daughter to some degree. I really saw no reason why Maud should warm to the woman though, given what she’d done. I don’t think she would have made the same choices back then if she knew what she did in the end. I really think the woman went into the entire scheme without thinking out how it would impact everyone emotionally. I hope she realized her mistake in the end. I like to think she did.

      I did find it interesting that Mrs. Sucksby’s fate was tied to the one she had created for Susan’s sake. It imagine she thought about it quite a bit–maybe even found a certain poetic justice in it in the end.

      I actually have spent a lot of time after finishing the book thinking of Maud and Susan’s relationship. A part of me thinks so because of their shared experiences. And they seem to accept each others vices. They both have a lot of growing to do, and forgiveness for themselves and each other to find more completely. I could see it ending badly though too, for those exact same reasons. I don’t know. I’m torn.

      This was my first Sarah Waters’ book and definitely won’t be my last. There was so much I loved about this novel–and it still haunts me.

      As for recommendations, my answer is very unoriginal, I’m afraid. The obvious one, for sure, Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White. Fingersmith reminded me of that one most of all. Maybe one of my all time favorites, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Or Michael Faber’s Crimson Petal and the White

      Thanks so much for hosting this read-a-long, Jennifer. It was fun–and gave me that push I needed to finally read a Sarah Waters book.

      • At 2014.11.04 22:46, Wendy said:

        I loved, LOVED the twists in this book. I gasped aloud more than once. I think Mrs Sucksby absolutely paid for what she had done to Susan/Maud. In my eyes, it redeemed her as a character. Having said that, it kind of annoyed me how heartbroken Maud was over her death. Although once she found out the truth, it didn’t take her long to move on.
        I do picture the Susan and Maud staying together. At this point, they’re all they’ve got. Not to mention both have reasons for not wanting to engage the outside world too much. They’ll grow and change of course, but I imagine them doing that together.
        The only other Sarah Waters book I read was The Little Stranger. I listened to the SimVan audiobook. It was mostly Meh for me. I wanted there to be more of a resolution. But having read this one, I’ve already got The Paying Guests on my list at the library. Thank you so much for hosting this reading, Jennifer. I’ve always meant to read this, and probably wasn’t going to get around to it otherwise.

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