...and now about "affinity". i found this book to be very slow to start with, but after about the half-way mark i couldn't put it down and my eyes were racing over the words to capture every detail of the story.
it's about a woman who begins to visit a women's prison to be a sort of example to them on how a lady ought to behave. she befriends one inmate in particular who takes her on a whirlwind of ride of emotion, all the while the reader is itching to find out what has happened to these characters before the story began...
particularly detailed and expertly written, as always, this novel is a fine addition to anyone's library. loads of mystery, a few twists and the ever familiar time-warp technique of waters all combined to make a great novel.
"fingersmith" is primarily a novel about a girl who is part of a family in the theif trade. it describes a particular scheme she pulls off with the help of a certain 'gentleman'. that's pretty much all i can say without giving away any important plot!!
this is the first of waters' novels i had picked up and read, and i must say i was thouroughly entertained from the very beginning to the very end. waters is an absolutely fantastic writer. this is one of those awesome books with twists and complex plots - but that are easy to read and follow, despite the language used and the time-shifts in the story line, which seems to be a favourite technique of waters' (and she implements it very expertly, i must say.)
a movie adaption of this book was made in 2005, called "fingersmith" and should be available to buy at any good store that stocks dvd movies. i haven't seen it yet, but i'll blurb a sentence here once i do...
okay, sarah waters is now my favourite fiction novelist. and this book is the best of all of hers. the way she takes you through the experiences of the characters through the war - you actually believe them. you can imagine being in their shoes and when their eyes are shrouded and itchy with dust and lungs are full of smoke you can feeeeeel it.
i guess i should say what the novel's about. there are a few main chatacters, whose histories and experiences of the second world war, and the aftermath, waters expertly reveals throughout the novel.
now i reveal how anal i can be - i must say that i loved her punctuation!! it's exactly what i always thought it should be and how i tend to use it myself - and it was a great relief to finally read a book properly without haveing to read and re-read sentences to 'get' the meaning of them. the correct punctuation, which waters uses at all times, makes her text, which is sometimes complex in concept, easy to read. she makes her sentences clear and her descriptions are immaculate and accurate.
i recently saw waters at a book reading/signing in sydney (due to the release of this novel), and she was absolutely fabulous! she went into how much research she does for each of her novels and answered audience questions and went into detail about writing this book specifically.
ah... tipping the velvet. most people would have seen the bbc tv adaption of the same name. certainly, that's how i heard about it. i can say, now having read the book, that i thought the book was better, but before i had read the book the tv adaption was certainly very ...mmm.... pleasurable ;-)
tipping the velvet is set in england in the victorian times: after the language became more modern, and before the really frilly bits in female clothing went out of fashion.
it's about a girl who discovers the wonder of kitty butler - a male impersonator. she flies off with kitty to assist in her dress and make up and discovers a whole new world outside her seaside home town. waters expertly takes you through the ups and downs of this character and describes in perfect detail the events and associated emotions that befall this character.
this would be a great introduction to anyone looking to get into reading waters' works.
okay, this is a book i'd recommend to everyone. this book basically tells you how a woman looooooves to be pleasured and how to do it safely - and nerves have no sexuality, so even if you're a straight man looking to be a better lover, this is a very good start. your woman will love you for it.
i read the first edition of this book, and i thought that, while newman covers most topics thoroughly, there were just a couple of topics missing all together (you can fill the gaps with some great online resources, see my links page.) however, a second edition was printed in 2004, five years after the first, so perhaps there's more there (i haven't seen it, so i can't say - but it is longer by about 50 pages.) the isbn i've provided here is of the second edition, but always be sure to ask for the latest editions.