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Susan "Sue" Trinder is a fingersmith (British slang for thief) who lives in the slums of London with a baby farmer (person who looks after unwanted babies) Mrs.Sucksby. When a once rich man, who gambled all his money away, presents them with a scam that has a payout of 40,000 pounds, Sue signs on to swindle rich Maud Lilly. Maud is an orphan who lives with her uncle, but what exactly is going on in the Lilly house? Sue will pose as Maud's maid so that Mr.Rivers (the gentleman) can get close to and eventually marry her. Their plan is to put Maud in the madhouse and take the money for themselves. All goes astray though when Sue falls in love with Maud. And the question is: Who can you trust? Written by
I love Sarah Waters's Fingersmith, and was worried about the TV adaptation as I'd been disappointed by the BBC's version of Tipping the Velvet (which although beautiful to look at was let down by Keeley Hawes not being able to sing, and Rachael Stirling not being able to act). Fingersmith is a very tightly plotted novel with breath taking twists and turns and I wondered if this could be done justice to in just 3 hours.
I needn't have worried. The adaptation was excellent, very little cut out, and went along at a cracking pace (although I did wonder whether if you hadn't read the book, would you miss things?). It had the look and feel of a BBC classic costume drama and i kept having to remind myself that this is a contemporary book.
The acting was stellar. Sally Hawkins acting her heart out as Sue Trinder, and Elaine Cassidy, a slow burner, who by the end of the story was incandescent as Maud Lilley. The love, the passion, the realisation of the acts of betrayal both would have to perform, were written on their faces. It was a joy to watch.
I hope Rachael Stirling was watching: that's how you play a Sarah Waters character!
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