Sarah Waters

Fingersmith: shortlisted for the Booker Prize

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“Oliver Twist with a twist…Waters spins an absorbing tale that withholds as much as it discloses. A pulsating story.”—The New York Times Book Review

The Handmaiden, a film adaptation of Fingersmith, directed by Park Chan-wook and starring Kim Tae-Ri, is now available.

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.

8 reviews for Fingersmith: shortlisted for the Booker Prize

  1. Raneet Das (Verified Purchase)

    This story is beautifully written and has so many twists and turns it it, it is like riding a roller coaster, but slowly! The anticipation of the next drop elongated and the fear given so much more time to grow … This is a hand-wringing, cringe worthy read at times.

  2. Geeta Kannojiya (Verified Purchase)

    The writing was excellent and I really felt I was in the mid-Victorian era. Susan was brought up like Oliver Twist in a house of thieves – the fingersmiths. She was cared for and loved. She gets involved in an elaborate plan to defraud an heiress of her inheritance but becomes more attached to the victim than she expected. Great twists that I didn’t see coming. An interesting setting and well thought out plot. Really enjoyable literary page-turner that also has some dark moments.

  3. Tejas Mahale (Verified Purchase)

    Overall, I enjoyed it. I can see why people recommend it and praise it, but it didn’t have the wow factor that I needed in order to feel the same about it.

  4. Sushmita Choudhury (Verified Purchase)

    If you’re familiar with Sarah Waters’ style you’ll appreciate the detailed research, descriptions that leap off the page and interwoven story lines. For new readers Fingersmith is the perfect jumping off point.

  5. Saprativ Das (Verified Purchase)

    Sara waters is an excellent writer and keeps you gripped with the tale. Although brilliantly written I found this book very dark and would nt reccomend it if you were feeling low

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