Set in Victorian England, Fingersmith is a story about deception, madness, and theft. Sue Trinder, a poor orphan in London, is approached by a conman for help in stealing a magnificent fortune. His plan is to install Sue as the maid to Miss Maud Lilly, a rich and naive young woman, and then use her to aid in Maud’s seduction. Once he has successfully married Maud, they will have Maud declared crazy, lock her in a madhouse, and then share her riches between them. Their plot is foolproof — that is, until Sue begins caring for Maud.
“There is no patience so terrible as that of the deranged. I have seen lunatics labour at endless tasks — conveying sand from one leaking cup into another; counting the stitches in a fraying gown, or the motes in a sunbeam; filling invisible ledgers with the resulting sums. Had they been gentlemen, and rich — instead of women — then perhaps they would have passed as scholars and commanded staffs.”
Sarah Waters is the author of six novels: Tipping the Velvet, Fingersmith, Affinity, The Night Watch, The Paying Guests, and The Little Stranger. Born in Wales, she currently lives in London.
Length: 576 pages
Set in: London, England
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