My secret valentine choice  from the public library, advertised as "Victorian lesbian cabaret." How could I resist? Much better choice than last year's sucker job with The Postman Always Rings Twice.
I can't begin to describe how much I loved this book. Sarah Waters is truly a genius. I loved Nancy then I felt sorry for Nancy then I hated Nancy then I felt sorry for her again then I hated her again but by the end I was cheering for her in full town tear mode, crying like a baby hoping it was not to late for her. Let me make it clear I ENDED UP LOVING NANCY! If anyone deserved a chance at being loved it is her.
Really enjoyed this and am absolutely adding more Sarah Waters to my to-read list. The atmosphere in this novel was fantastic - love Victorian/late 19th century London, so dirty and filled with debauchery. A great look at the story of one young girl's tumultuous life and her growth throughout these years.
Waters's first novel, from 1998, is a wonderfully inventive project that manages to combine several literary traditions in one engrossing adventure tale. It's part Victorian novel, part erotic romance, part picaresque. Imagine Dickens writing "50 Shades of Grey." Set in late-nineteenth-century London, the plot follows the lifestyle changes of a working-class woman who finds herself on the music hall stage as a "masher" (male impersonator), in love with her female stage partner, but unable to live openly. Degradation and tragedy follow, before a rousing and heartwarming resolution. The only flaws may be that the plot drags a bit at times, and perhaps we see a bit more than we want to of our protagonist's bedroom adventures. Very sexually explicit, this is not for anyone squeamish in that regard.
The only other Sarah Waters I've read is Little Stranger, which I thought was amazing. This was only pretty good for me. I skimmed from time to time as it felt a bit clunky and slow. I found the main character to be shallow, thought I'm not sure if that was done on purpose ?
I agree with ErinHood on this one. "Fingersmith" was one of the most sensual books I had read, and Waters definitely has a way with words, but "Tipping the Velvet" is sort of second-rate in comparison. Good escapist read, and definitely worth the time if you like the style, but don't expect too much.
It's a sturdy book, told in a pleasing way, but when you read one Sarah Waters book... the subsquent ones give the reader less each time. She rarely explores new emotional ground, rendering her books a bit formulis. While they have different tones, and each an underlying structure of suspense, if you want something with more depth, something that pulls and stretches you to consider humanity and human nature each time, Winterson is your lady.
Chapel_Hill_KenMc thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over
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