The best stories, regardless of the genre and era that they are set in, always have a twist or two. If the writer has done their job, then the audience or reader may need a moment or two to take in the out of left field plot twist.
In 2002 book, Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters, Sue Trinder is a product of London’s slums during the Victorian era. Raised by a woman named Mrs. Sucksby, Sue is used to the sight of less than genteel folk roaming about. Enter a man whom she only knows as “Gentleman”. He has a proposal for her. Maud Lilly is the wealthy niece of a country landowner who has been raised far from the dirty and crowded streets of London that Sue calls home. Sue is to present herself as Maud’s new lady’s maid. A short time after Sue starts working, Gentlemen will visit Maud and her uncle and convince Maud to run away with him. Once Sue and Gentleman have Maud’s fortune, they will throw Maud into the madhouse.
Sue starts out with the best of intentions, to use the money to repay back the only family she has ever known. Then things get complicated when Sue begins to feel for Maud as more than just the victim…..
This is not the ordinary Victorian novel. At first read, it sounds more like a Charles Dickens novel than a novel by a modern writer set in Victorian England. But in that, lies the beauty of the story. On the surface, Maud and Sue seems like clear-cut and predictable characters. But as the reader goes deeper, they will discover that Maud and Sue are far from what they initially seem to be. While it was a little long in certain sections, I can safely say that the ending is worth the wait.
I recommend it.