Sarah Waters sets out once again to prove Her Majesty wrong in her latest novel, Fingersmith, set - as her other two novels, Tipping the Velvet and Affinity - in Victorian London.
There is not much to say about Fingersmith that has not been said already, and providing a summary of the plot will spoil the book. However, one of the main features that I enjoyed with this one was the language: the melodic, almost poetic, composition of some of the parts - which really need to be read aloud. For example, this part describes a train journey, and by reading aloud you can just about catch the rhythm of the train rolling on the tracks:
The lives of two young women collide in England when a trio of 'fingersmiths' (pick-pockets) concoct an elaborate scam to defraud a young heiress of her inheritance. The story alternates between the twisting back alleyways of Dickensian and the cloistered gloom of a Gothic mansion in 1862.
London 1862. Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up among petty thieves - fingersmiths - under the rough but loving care of Mrs Sucksby and her 'family'. But from the moment she draws breath, Sue's fate is linked to that of another orphan growing up in a gloomy mansion not too many miles away.