Though it takes a little while to get into the rhythm of the story, since it deals with one character's background interspersed with the main character's present story, it readily draws you into a very gripping "what'll happen next" plot. The dreary background only heightens the tension and mystery.
This was a very well-written book, as are all Sarah Waters' novel. And there is always a twist that is relatively surprising. I enjoyed the read but I do get a little frustrated with the fact that things never seem to turn out well for most of Waters' lead characters. It adds to the victorian noire feel of the piece, but I still like a happy ending once in a while.
I found this book slow to get into but definitely educational about the prisons in Victorian England. It also depicted the spiritualist subculture of this time period. An intersting undertone of lust from different characters perspectives runs throughout the story with a great surprising twist in the end.
Sarah Waters is a wonderful writer! This is my least favorite of her first three novels that I've read, but that doesn't mean it's bad in any way. The twist at the end was good, but it did bum me out. I'm swapping this copy, but there is no way anyone could pry my copies of "Fingersmith" or "Tipping the Velvet" from my grubby hands, lol. I believe this was her 2nd novel, and as such I think more authors would wish for a "sophomore slump" like this one. Her language is beautiful, like always, and she has a great way of describing scenes and people. Wonderful gothic Victorian feel.
Great book!! I truly love the way Sarah Waters describes the era. Almost feels like you are really there.
A Victorian-era ghost/spiritualism story. Good read for those interested in historical fiction.
Interesting read. This is the first book by Sarah Waters that I've read. It was very hard for me to get into at first. I read it for a book club, so I felt obligated to keep going, when in another circumstance, I may have quit. I am glad that I kept going though, as I got intrigued by around page 85 and then I couldn't put it down.
Some people love her books, and I thought "Fingersmith" was excellent. On the other hand I read "Affinity" a few years ago and can't recall a thing about it. It made no impression on me at all.
Historical fiction set in 1870's London in which Margaret, a lonely woman approaching 30, becomes a âLady Visitorâ in the women's ward at Millbank Prison and befriends one of the inmates who is a spiritualist who holds sÃ©ances and the like. It's a tale of ghosts, grief and longing, with a wicked twist that I should have seen coming but didn't. Quite similar in some ways to one of Waters' other works which I've read, so I was not as gung-ho about this one as I might have been had I read it first
Affinity, second in line behind Sarah Water's debut novel Tipping the Velvet, continues the same lesbian-Victorian England theme, with gothic splashes added in with exploration of the Spiritualist movement. The narrative is carried by the two protagonists across two different timelines. We are allowed to read the secret diary of Margaret Prior, who takes up a role as a Lady Visitor at Millbank Prison (where the Tate Gallery now stands) as part of her recovery from a suicide attempt. She becomes progressively drawn to Selina Dawes, a young spirit-medium charged with fraud and assault after a séance gone bad, who shares the events leading up to her imprisonment. Less overtly sexual than Tipping the Velvet, Affinity is much more subdued in tone. The first three parts forming much of the background of Margaret's home life and prison life seem dreary and go slowly, but towards a clever and suspenseful climax. As usual, Waters's prose transports us to the period, showing how the role of women is quite stifled. In summary, a good historical novel with gothic and lesbian overtones.
I was definitely surprised by the ending, and enjoyed the Victorian style writing, which while being appropriate for the time period, since it was written recently adds a touch of irony and perspective. Very cleverly done.
Intriguing plot with well-portrayed characters.
Pretty good book. I love Sarah Waters.
So far, my least favorite Waters novel, mostly because of the ending.
A pretty decent book (though nowhere near as good as her book, Fingersmith!), but the "twist" was pretty predictable, so I was not overly surprised when it revealed itself. It gets a bit tedious in places, but not enough to make me want to quit reading, as I really did want to see how it ends. Three and a half stars for me (but don't quit on this author -- Fingersmith is excellent!)
Excellent read. Story moves slowly with a nice payoff at the end. Read this one carefully so you do not miss anything.