Affinity

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Affinity

by Sarah Waters

Penguin Publishing Group | January 8, 2002 | Trade Paperback

Affinity is rated 2.5 out of 5 by 2.
“Gothic tale, psychological study, puzzle narrative…This is gripping, astute fiction that feeds the mind and senses.”—The Seattle Times

An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women’s ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London’s grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank’s murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by on apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. Selina was imprisoned after a séance she was conducting went horribly awry, leaving an elderly matron dead and a young woman deeply disturbed. Although initially skeptical of Selina’s gifts, Margaret is soon drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina’s freedom, and her own.

As in her noteworthy deput, Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters brilliantly evokes the sights and smells of a moody and beguiling nineteenth-century London, and proves herself yet again a storyteller, in the words of the New York Times Book Review, of "startling power."

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: January 8, 2002

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1573228737

ISBN - 13: 9781573228732

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Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from terrible A young upper-class woman, Margaret Prior, just recovering from a suicide attempt starts to visit the women in Millbank prison. There she meets Selina Dawes who is jailed because of a seance gone wrong. Selina is a spiritualist. As the story progresses Margaret seems to be more and more drawn to her. At the same time Margaret's home life is becoming more and more difficult. Her siblings are all married and she is hounded by her mother. She is taking more and more drugs for her 'spells' I disliked this story. It is dark and forbidding just like the prison. I have read Waters before and loved her stories but this just did not ring at all true. Who in their right mind would allow a young person who had just tried to commit suicide to visit in a dark place like a prison or to be left alone for any length of time at all? Wouldn't her mother try to keep things light and not depressing? Also this concept of Victorian ladies having to faint, have headaches or swoon is beyond my thinking. Oh yes, and let us overcompensate these conditions by handing out drugs or better yet letting these young ladies take whatever amount of drugs they wish. I guess the best thing I took away from this book is that all Victorian ladies have no brain cells.
Date published: 2013-02-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Eight Bookcases Check out my review of Waters' work on my blog:http://8bookcases.blogspot.com/2011/11/affinity-by-sarah-waters.html
Date published: 2011-11-26

– More About This Product –

Affinity

Affinity

by Sarah Waters

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: January 8, 2002

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1573228737

ISBN - 13: 9781573228732

Read from the Book

Part One24 September 1874Pa used to say that any piece of history might be made into a tale: it was only a question of deciding where the tale began, and where it ended. That, he said, was all his skill. And perhaps, after all, the histories he dealt with were rather easy to sift like that, to divide up and classify—the great lives, the great works, each one of them neat and gleaming and complete, like metal letters in a box of type.I wish that Pa was with me now. I would ask him how he would start to write the story I have embarked upon to-day. I would ask him how he would neatly tell the story of a prison—of Millbank Prison—which has so many separate lives in it, and is so curious a shape, and must be approached, so darkly, through so many gates and twisting passages. Would he start it with the building of the gaols themselves? I cannot do that, for though I was told the date of it this morning I have forgotten it now; besides which, Millbank is so solid and so antique, I can’t believe that there was ever a time when it did not sit upon that dreary spot beside the Thames, casting its shadow on the black earth there. He might begin it, then, with Mr Shillitoe’s visit to this house, three weeks ago; or, he might begin it at seven this morning, when Ellis first brought me my grey suit and my coat—no, of course he would not start the story there, with a lady and her servant, and petticoats and loose hair.He would start it, I think, at the gate of Millbank, the point that every
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From the Publisher

“Gothic tale, psychological study, puzzle narrative…This is gripping, astute fiction that feeds the mind and senses.”—The Seattle Times

An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women’s ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London’s grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank’s murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by on apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. Selina was imprisoned after a séance she was conducting went horribly awry, leaving an elderly matron dead and a young woman deeply disturbed. Although initially skeptical of Selina’s gifts, Margaret is soon drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina’s freedom, and her own.

As in her noteworthy deput, Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters brilliantly evokes the sights and smells of a moody and beguiling nineteenth-century London, and proves herself yet again a storyteller, in the words of the New York Times Book Review, of "startling power."

About the Author

Sarah Waters is the author of Tipping the Velvet, a New York Times Notable Book; Affinity, which won her the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award; Fingersmith and The Night Watch, both of which were shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize; and The Little Stranger, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and a New York Times Notable Book. She has also been named one of Granta's best young British novelists. She lives in London.

Editorial Reviews

“Unfolds sinuously and ominously…a powerful plot-twister…a truly suspenseful tale of terror; and a piece of elegant, thinly veiled erotica. Like a Ouija board, Affinity offers different messages to different readers, scaring the shrouds off everyone in the process.”
USA Today

“[Waters] displays her incredible talent for the Gothic historical novel in this splendid book about a Victorian women’s prison and the affair there between an inmate and a ‘lady visitor.’”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Gothic tale, psychological study, puzzle narrative…superbly suspenseful…This is gripping, astute fiction that feeds the mind and senses.”
The Seattle Times