I have mixed feeling about this book. I really do. Because on one hand, I enjoyed it a lot and I liked all the twists and turns it took. Except that um, when part one ended, it wasn’t quite what I expected, because I’m a big romantic, and although I (of course) had already read the end, it didn’t so much let me in on all the stuff that was going to happen in the middle. And I was all going along, dee dee dee, and all of a sudden it was part one ending and WHAM KIDNEY PUNCH. Seriously, that’s the way you people like to read books?
I don’t get it. Why would you want that? So that when they repeat the serpent’s tooth line later, you feel a joyous twinge of recognition about what happened earlier on? I had that joyous twinge of recognition, and first I thought, oh, hey, this must be why people don’t look up what’s going to happen, but then I remembered that it was far outweighed by the unpleasant surprising thing that happened earlier. And, y’know, if you knew what was coming, you’d have appreciated that line the first time around, and still appreciated it when it was reiterated. Just saying.
Ugh. I don’t like not knowing what’s going to happen. Unless it’s an emotional moment. I don’t like finding out what emotional moments are going to happen – like, if I were reading the Harry Potter books for the first time, I wouldn’t at all mind being told that Lupin is going to (spoiler) die ultimately, but I would be very very furious with someone who told me, I don’t know, the story of how Lupin and Harry have that argument they have in the seventh book. Likewise, I want to know that Wesley’s going to (spoiler) die at the end of Angel (HA! SERVE YOU RIGHT!), but I don’t in any way want to know whatever touching moment Social Sister was going to tell me about but I stopped her because I don’t want to know these things.
Well, and that’s why I got cross with Fingersmith. I felt like it cheated me. I read the entire emotional end of the story, got cross because I was still angry with Sue for being such a lying bitch, and never saw anything coming that was coming. Besides which, I couldn’t really get behind a romance that occurs between two such unpleasant characters. I know I know, necessity and oppression and Victorian girls had no choices, but I don’t care! They were just too unpleasant! I was interested in what was going to happen but I was not in any way invested in their romance.
I sort of was.
But mostly not. Because of how unpleasant they both were.
I liked Fingersmith a lot. Like Sarah Waters’ other books – I wouldn’t buy them but I am happy to know the library has them, and if I reread them enough times I may well grow to love them deeply and purchase them all for my personal library. Except Tipping the Velvet which has been my least favorite so far. And I care enough to read Affinity (spiritualism! woooooooo!) and check Amazon to see if she has any new books coming out. And enough to give her a favored authors tag. Sarah Waters writes well and tells me lots of interesting things about the seamy underbelly of Victorian England; and I am all about the seamy underbelly of Victorian England.
Now I’m all interested in Victorian erotica. How totally interesting. If I were going into academia, I would be studying Victorian erotica.
…That might be hard to get a job in. English 4069: Victorians ❤ Porn.