Book Reviews of Fingersmith

Fingersmith
Fingersmith
Author: Sarah Waters
ISBN-13: 9781573229722
ISBN-10: 1573229725
Publication Date: 10/1/2002
Pages: 592
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 230

3.9 stars, based on 230 ratings
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

55 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Fingersmith on + 118 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Awesome book! I happened upon it unexpectedly, and only knew that there was another title by the same author I had on my WL and so read this one. It is a gripping story, told from the point of view of an unexpected character--a London small-time thief in Victorian times. The plot turns are unexpected each time and the story draws you in and makes you feel you are truly living it along with the story's two main female characters. It is a great example of historical fiction, and a great mystery tale as well. Definitely a must read.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
A young woman raised to be a thief in Victorian London is involved in a plot to defraud a country heiress. Marvelous characters, rich in historical details, enjoyable from start to finish.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Best book I've ever read in my life.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
The best novel I've read in a while. It's a story worthy of Dickens with so many plot twists and long buried secrets that just when you think you know what's going to happen, everything changes. This one kept me up biting my fingernails through the last few chapters.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 384 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
i love this author,she is genuine in her research and it shows in her books. But this book should have been about 100 pages shorter.
the story is hard to describe as it is one con after the other.you never know who to believe and who is conning who. a delicious read due to the detail to the historical dress,places and times.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 91 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
There are so many twists and turns in this book- you won't want to stop reading. I was heavily involved in the story after the first chapter. It's long, but well worth it.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 568 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Wonderful novel! If you like Dickens and other 19th century literature, then this one is definitely for you. The novel 'is awash with all manner of gloomy Dickensian motifs: pickpockets, orphans, grim prisons, lunatic asylums, "laughing villains," and, of course, stolen fortunes and girls made out to be mad.' This one keeps you guessing and has so many twists that the plot will send you in the opposite direction at the turn of a page. All is certainly NOT what it seems to be! "A stunning story told in lavish language by a very gifted author...... Highly recommended!"
reviewed Fingersmith on
Helpful Score: 3
Excellent book! It should come with a warning label, "Do not start this book if you have to get up early in the morning." I was up until 2 pm a couple nights to get it done. So many twists and turns. Just when you think you know what is going on---it all changes again.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A really exciting plot! I read the last 300 pages all at on sitting. It took me more than 5 hours, but I just had to find out what was going to happen!
reviewed Fingersmith on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An enjoyable fast-paced read.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is powerfully provacative and intriguing. I was not expecting the love affair between the two heroines. It stands to reason, though, because of the way the two women were treated by the men in their lives. I also found myself routing for one of the bad guys, even though he tricked and swindled both the women. I felt a little sorrow for the uncle, even though he made his living writing pornography. The book, however, is hot about pornography. The book is about how hard and dishonest yet truthful life can be. The story is twisted and intertwined and hard to explain; one really has to read it to understand the captivity of it. I don't too often give a book five stars, but this one gets five for its originality, depth, and how it evokes emotion in the reader. It is by far the best book I have picked up this year.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 78 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I won't go into a synopsis of this book - but let me just say that the twists and turns in the plot kept me turning the pages well into the night. Nothing is what it appears to be in this story. I'll just leave it at that.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Incredible story. Lots of surprising twists. It will definitely keep you interested until the very end. One reviewer said, and I agree with them: "'There are always novels that you envy people for not yet having read, for the pleasure they still have to come. Well, this is one. Long, dark, twisted and satisfying, it's a fabulous piece of writing...an unforgettable experience.'" - Julie Myerson, GUARDIAN
reviewed Fingersmith on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An incredible ride of a novel, with plot twists that will leave you with your mouth hanging open.
reviewed Fingersmith on
Helpful Score: 2
At first, the story is intriguing and fast-paced but soon tapers off and the book becomes tedious. Some of the graphical sexual content would have been better left out altogether. Many of the characters are poorly developed, and while the story twists again and again, it remains dull, lacks depth and ultimately fails to keep the reader captivated; the end is predictable and corny.

Overall, the book lacks the subtlety that defines truly great novels.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The first section of this book had me hooked. The labyrinthine underworld of Victorian London, the strange and intriguing characters and the nefarious plot set in motion are the books strongest points and they're at their best in the opening chapters. But by the end of the first section the emotional angst was getting to be a bit much, and the pornography-by-proxy in the second section seems like a 20th century cop out; seriously, the author had to resort to that in order to convey the heroine's bleak, oppressive life? The love story between the two heroines and their mutual betrayal ought to have been enough to carry the second heroine's pathos. When we get back to moving the plot forward, with one girl locked up in a madhouse and the other a prisoner in the London underworld the book begins to fascinate again. And that fascination lasts through a startling twist and a dramatic & emotional climax. But again, at the very conclusion of the book, the author throws in the porno stuff, which honestly distracts from the mystery, the romance and the drama of what would otherwise be a thrilling story.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book gives you the real "grittiness" of Dickens England and details the teeming underside of slums, poverty and crime. Very well written, with a plot that surprises in twists and turns from chapter to chapter. One of the most memorable novels I have recently read!
reviewed Fingersmith on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
First let me say it's difficult to give a detailed review without giving away the story so I will try to be clear and not include spoilers.

I was really looking forward to reading this book. The storyline itself is in 3 sections. The first an account from Sue's POV, the 2nd Maud's and in the third is the conclusion. The story itself held so much promise and I could not put it down for the first section. Once I began the 2nd portion I became more and more frustrated as I went along. The author drones on and on of insignificant events and I found myself screaming at the book. This was a not a good sign. It was also a BAD sign when I started skipping pages to get ahead again I felt they returned to London for far too long with no meat for us to hold onto.

While I enjoyed the moody atmosphere of Victorian London and the beginning held me captive with a great twist, the rest of the book was so mediocre that I would not to recommend it to close friends/family. All in all I had to force myself to finish it while hoping the author would return to the beautifully composed style and focus she had in the first section. Subsequent chapters were lost on insignificant drivel that held no weight to the plot. When I finally finished I felt cheap and dirty. Not from the pseudo-pornography but more from the author's laziness and lack of vision . Again this book held so much promise but I really wish I had read other more worthy books in my `to be read pile' rather than waste my time on this nonsense.

I'm getting tired of reading books that hold my attention until the end where they ultimately lose their way and the reader and I are left wondering who in the world would rate this 4 or 5 stars? Where are the good quality, CONSISTENT books?!
reviewed Fingersmith on + 141 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is really dark and Gothic. I liked the book a lot, but felt that it was a little too long. A very involved plot keeps the reader's interest and I think most people would like it. Genny
reviewed Fingersmith on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you like the gothic atmosphere and gasp-inducing plot of Victorian classics like Jane Eyre, then FINGERSMITH is right up your alley. FINGERSMITH is a perfect combination of the Victorian gothic setting and the more contemporary delight of plot twists so unexpected you'll scream in shock. Sarah Waters' writing style will appeal to fans of the classics, yet it will not put off readers of more recent fiction. The plot may be ingenious, but it is truly the characters who provide the strength of the novel. Sue and Maud are morally complex girls who you'll want to cheer for despite the terrible plot they're both involved in. At times I found the pacing a little slow for my taste, especially when we get a recounting of events from Maud's point of view, but overall this is an enjoyable novel that you will want to talk about long after you have read it.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 568 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wonderful novel! If you like Dickens and other 19th century literature, then this one is definitely for you. The novel "is awash with all manner of gloomy Dickensian motifs: pickpockets, orphans, grim prisons, lunatic asylums, "laughing villains," and, of course, stolen fortunes and girls made out to be mad." This one keeps you guessing and has so many twists that the plot will send you in the opposite direction at the turn of a page. All is certainly NOT what it seems to be! "A stunning story told in lavish language by a very gifted author...... Highly recommended!"
reviewed Fingersmith on + 962 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you like the gothic atmosphere and gasp-inducing plot of Victorian classics like Jane Eyre, then FINGERSMITH is right up your alley. FINGERSMITH is a perfect combination of the Victorian gothic setting and the more contemporary delight of plot twists so unexpected you'll scream in shock. Sarah Waters' writing style will appeal to fans of the classics, yet it will not put off readers of more recent fiction. The plot may be ingenious, but it is truly the characters who provide the strength of the novel. Sue and Maud are morally complex girls who you'll want to cheer for despite the terrible plot they're both involved in. At times I found the pacing a little slow for my taste, especially when we get a recounting of events from Maud's point of view, but overall this is an enjoyable novel that you will want to talk about long after you have read it.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
"A deftly plotted thriller with two equally compelling heroines, orphans Sue Trinder and Maud Lilly. Manipulated by someone she knows only as Gentleman, Sue is sent to a country estate to work as Maud's maid and help him woo the simple heiress. The plot twists -- then again and again -- until one girl is in a terrifying insane asylum and another held captive. An absorbing and elegant story that's old-fashioned in the best way."
--Review from Entertainment Weekly
reviewed Fingersmith on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Could not put it down. Holds your attention through all the twists and turns, and better yet, you don't lose track of who's who and what's what. I'm going to read more of Sarah Waters!
reviewed Fingersmith on + 133 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fulfills the prmise of Waters as an author. Just when you think you have it figured out, theere's another twist.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A WONDERFUL dickensian novel with wonderful twists and parallels. Highly recommended!!
reviewed Fingersmith on + 962 more book reviews
If you like the gothic atmosphere and gasp-inducing plot of Victorian classics like Jane Eyre, then FINGERSMITH is right up your alley. FINGERSMITH is a perfect combination of the Victorian gothic setting and the more contemporary delight of plot twists so unexpected you'll scream in shock. Sarah Waters' writing style will appeal to fans of the classics, yet it will not put off readers of more recent fiction. The plot may be ingenious, but it is truly the characters who provide the strength of the novel. Sue and Maud are morally complex girls who you'll want to cheer for despite the terrible plot they're both involved in. At times I found the pacing a little slow for my taste, especially when we get a recounting of events from Maud's point of view, but overall this is an enjoyable novel that you will want to talk about long after you have read it.
reviewed Fingersmith on
Sarah Waters writes extremely well. Her descriptions and historical detail are fantastic. I have absolutely no complaints about her writing. Even the length of the book seems fine, given that it is in the tradition of the Victorian novel. I cannot give the book a purely positive rating because the story is so grim and every single character is distinctly unlikeable, with the possible exception of a single supporting character who plays a role only in the last quarter of the book. The protagonists are dreadful people, even taking into account the histories that molded them, and even Waters's wonderful skill in bringing them to life cannot redeem them. I finished the book because it was so well written, but really, I didn't much care what happened to either of the two main characters. I came to dread the next twist or turn in the plot because I knew it would reveal yet another example of how badly people can treat each other. The fact that I stuck around to the end is testament to how very talented I found the writer. I will certainly read another of her works in the hope that it will display her skill without being so terribly depressing and misanthropic.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 962 more book reviews
If you like the gothic atmosphere and gasp-inducing plot of Victorian classics like Jane Eyre, then FINGERSMITH is right up your alley. FINGERSMITH is a perfect combination of the Victorian gothic setting and the more contemporary delight of plot twists so unexpected you'll scream in shock. Sarah Waters' writing style will appeal to fans of the classics, yet it will not put off readers of more recent fiction. The plot may be ingenious, but it is truly the characters who provide the strength of the novel. Sue and Maud are morally complex girls who you'll want to cheer for despite the terrible plot they're both involved in. At times I found the pacing a little slow for my taste, especially when we get a recounting of events from Maud's point of view, but overall this is an enjoyable novel that you will want to talk about long after you have read it.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 16 more book reviews
This is a great read. This story has more twists and turns than a roller coaster. It takes place in Victorian times and is so vivid that you feel you have been there. The writing just grabs your attention and won't let you put the book down. If you like a suspenseful book then you will like "Fingersmith".
reviewed Fingersmith on + 1239 more book reviews
Excellent book on how the other half survivies in London. A must read book.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 45 more book reviews
This was a really good read, with lots of plot twists, and double-dealing aplenty. And I liked the ending, too
reviewed Fingersmith on + 3 more book reviews
Again, Sarah Waters shows us how a movie can be vividly playing in your mind as you read her work. Every last detail is written to come alive; and it does.

This is not a book to kill time. This is a book that will draw you in, rise you up and let you fall, let you love then hate then perhaps love the character again, and finally you will stop guessing what may be coming around on the next pages because the book will always prevail... and the only way to know what actually happens in the keep reading.

This book is nothing short of phenomenal. The characters, settings, plot, and feeling of the era are in effect around you from the moment you open the cover.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 1239 more book reviews
Not what I was thinking in the book but it was a good read. Lots of details and the storyline is really engaging and keeps you turning the pages.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 962 more book reviews
If you like the gothic atmosphere and gasp-inducing plot of Victorian classics like Jane Eyre, then FINGERSMITH is right up your alley. FINGERSMITH is a perfect combination of the Victorian gothic setting and the more contemporary delight of plot twists so unexpected you'll scream in shock. Sarah Waters' writing style will appeal to fans of the classics, yet it will not put off readers of more recent fiction. The plot may be ingenious, but it is truly the characters who provide the strength of the novel. Sue and Maud are morally complex girls who you'll want to cheer for despite the terrible plot they're both involved in. At times I found the pacing a little slow for my taste, especially when we get a recounting of events from Maud's point of view, but overall this is an enjoyable novel that you will want to talk about long after you have read it.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 30 more book reviews
This is a great book. It's pretty thick but worth all the time.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 20 more book reviews
Not my cup of tea at all... there was nothing on the cover or back to suggest it was Lesbian fiction... so I was extremely suprised that all of a sudden a scene that showed that it definately was.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 20 more book reviews
This book is about a small-time thief in Victorian times sent to be an assistant to a lady outside of London. This book has twists and turns and an interesting ending. It was a hard book to put down at times.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 11 more book reviews
Fast read. Kind of female version of Oliver Twist.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 12 more book reviews
Interesting and different!
reviewed Fingersmith on + 14 more book reviews
I read the entire book, and while it did have a good story line, it just wasn't for me. It had some lesbian and sexual themes that I personally did not care for.
reviewed Fingersmith on
Loved this book!! Wonderful twists and turns to the plot. Just couldn't wait to turn the page to see what would happen next. Highly recommend!
reviewed Fingersmith on + 173 more book reviews
Its hard to discuss this book without providing spoilers. All I am going to say about it is that it is an absolute wonderful piece of writing. The characters are so well developed and complex. And the authors great detail to the way the rich and poor lived in Victorian London transports you back in time.

The book grabbed hold of me from the very first page. When lifes annoying demands interrupted my reading, it was all I could do to stop thinking about Sue, Maud, and the rest of the wonderful characters and what would happen to them next. A definite page turner. I was so engrossed in this read that it did not even feel like a 500+ page novel. I am definitely going to read more of this authors work.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 377 more book reviews
There's enough back stabbing in this book for everyone. Double dealings and lies abound in this story. Enjoyed it.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 279 more book reviews
A great mystery. I liked it.
reviewed Fingersmith on
What a great read!
reviewed Fingersmith on + 20 more book reviews
I loved this book. It's become my new favorite. It's an amazing story, written with wonderful description and twists and turns you never imagined coming. I was sad when I finished it, for reading it is fun and a thrill. A wonderful story. Five stars.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 121 more book reviews
If you read a lot of book blogs, I'm sure you've come across a few reviews of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. And I bet they all have one thing in common: the reviewer laments the fact that they can't really tell you any more than the bare bones of the plot because then it would spoil the book for you. Then they go on to praise the book and tell you "Just read it. Trust me. It is that good."

So who am I to attempt to do the impossible? You truly cannot write too much about Fingersmith without spoiling everything that makes Fingersmith such a dizzying, delightful read. I saw a comment by Nymeth from Things Means A Lot (who wrote one of the best reviews of this book I've come across) on another blogger's review of Fingersmith that said:

The first rule of Fingersmith is that you don't talk about Fingersmith.

Of course, this is a reference to Fight Club (of which I've only seen the movie and not read the book), but, when I thought about it, there are definite parallels between Fight Club and Fingersmith (aside from the need to be close-mouthed about plot points). And so I felt I must respect the code and not talk too much about this book. But here is what I can tell you.

* Reading this book is like looking into a kaleidoscope. You see things fitting together in an intricate pattern but then you turn it and all the pieces align in a new pattern. And then you turn it again ...

* Reading this book is like boarding those Wild Mouse rides you see at amusement parks where you get whipped around on these crazy sharp turns that make your head spin.

* Reading this book is like watching Mission Impossible where the ... WAIT ... I can't continue with that one. It might give too much away.

Let's just say that if Fingersmith was a food, it would be a pretzel. (Because of the twists). I think the true brilliance and fun of Fingersmith is the plot twists that leave you feeling dizzy, invigorated, duped, nodding, shaking, and wanting to leap ahead to find out where Waters is going to take you next. (But don't think the plot twists are all the book has going for it. It is also amazingly well-written; provides a brilliant sense of atmosphere; and creates memorable, indelible characters that will stay with you.)

So, what else can I tell you?

* The book is set in Victorian England. Now usually this is a turn-off for me. I associate "Victorian" with "dead boring." (Unfairly, I suppose, as I haven't read all that much of it.) I always think books set in the Victorian era will focus too much on virtue and being good and social niceties and the big scandal would be if someone used the wrong spoon to stir their tea. (I'm totally speaking out of my ass here, by the way. I don't know ANYTHING about Victorian novels ... just a vague sense of what I think Victorian novels are or would be like. I'm sure many of you will try to convert me now.) So, if you have an unfair prejudice against books from the Victorian era like I did, discard them. This book is ANYTHING but boring and stuffy.

* Fingersmith is a term that means "petty thief," which is how one of the main characters, Sue Trinder, earns her living in London. Fingersmith might also refer to someone who has mastered a skill involving the use of his or her fingers. It could also have another connotation that makes more sense after you read the book but I'm not going to tell you about it. OK ... I will ... let's just say the book has been called "lesbian Victoriana." So now you figure it out yourself. (And that is your only "warning" that this book deals with the Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name.)

* The book is 582 pages but once you hit the end of the first part, you will want to read the book at every available opportunity so make sure you have the time available. Once you board the crazy ride that is Fingersmith, you won't want to get off!

* You will never look at a pair of white gloves in quite the same way.

Oh ... enough already. Just read it!!! Trust me!!!! You'll love it!! (Unless you really don't care for suspenseful, twist-filled, well-written, unforgettable, kick-ass, Gothic, big themed, psychologically thrilling, heart-in-your-mouth historical fiction. If that isn't your type of book, then by all means skip it.)

I hereby award Fingersmith 5 stars and pretty much guarantee it is going to be one of my Top 10 reads of the year.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 16 more book reviews
One of the most intriguing and well-written books I've ever read. All of the cliche's apply: spell-binding, page-turner, plot-twists and surprise endings. A must read for historical fiction lovers.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 132 more book reviews
About an orphan raised by theives. Story has mystery to it. Good but not what I expected.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 167 more book reviews
I heard about Sarah Waters many many years ago, but I just didnt think Id like her. Id picked up Tipping the Velvet and put it down countless times. Im so used to reading light chick books. Then I got this and started it. After it sitting on my shelf for I dont know how long. And I couldnt put it down. its a beautifully tragic story with so many twists and turns. I expected it to be a bit more lesbionic, but it was definitely not disappointing. I also felt like I could relate to the love story. As soon as I finished it I went out and got Nightwatch.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 181 more book reviews
Great read~
reviewed Fingersmith on + 28 more book reviews
Dickens does lesbians fiction... gripping and enticing!
reviewed Fingersmith on + 69 more book reviews
Good read.
reviewed Fingersmith on + 45 more book reviews
Decided I wasn't interested in reading this. So I am passing this on.