It’s all in the details! And it has been a long time since I have read a novel that could have turned out to be a boring Dickensian novel instead of a creepy, gothic, historical, mysterious, OUTSTANDING read.
The first thing you need to know is the meaning of the title Fingersmith. According to Wikipedia (because I could not find the definition in The American Heritage College Dictionary or The Oxford English Dictionary) a fingersmith is a petty thief.
Set in Victorian London, this is the story of Sue, who is seventeen years old and was orphaned as a baby. She is growing up in a home that is not only owned by a baby seller but is frequented by the absolute bottom feeders of society. There is always a new scam, a new deal, a new forgery. This is Sue’s world and all she knows.
And that is really all I can say without spoiling this unbelievably engrossing book. Oh, except that it is really, really long (511 pages) but so worth it!
Read-alike: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Same feel and pace, although very different storylines.