Sarah Waters offers an intriguing blend of mystery and suspense, secrets and betrayal in her evocative Victorian underworld page-turner.

London, 1862. Sue Trinder, orphaned at birth, grows up under the rough but loving care of Mrs Sucksby and her ‘family’ of unwanted babies turned artful dodgers - ‘fingersmiths’. When one of Mrs Sucksby’s scams places Sue as a lady’s maid to an orphan-heiress in a sprawling Gothic mansion, the narrative explores even darker corners, among the pinched corsets and rustling skirts of Victorian England.

The Man Booker Prize 2002
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Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters

About the Author

Sarah Waters has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times - in 2002, 2006 and 2009. Her novels have won the Betty Trask Award and the Somerset Maugham Award and have also been shortlisted for the Orange Prize.
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Fingersmith on screen

In 2016, Korean director Park Chan-wook released The Handmaiden, which was inspired by Fingersmith.

The Handmaiden transported the action of the book from Victorian-era Britain to Korea under Japanese colonial rule. 

Another Gaze said the film was ‘a brilliantly dark ode to women’s desire and autonomy: a subject that remains as pressing today as it was a century ago’.

Watch The Handmaiden on Netflix here

A still from The Handmaiden.

The fact that Fingersmith received a lot of positive attention actually made me a bit anxious

Listen to an extract from Fingersmith

Juanita McMahon brings Sarah Waters’ tale of an orphan who grows up among thieves to life.

Hachette Audio UK · Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Fingersmith audiobook cover on a beige background

Waters spins an absorbing tale that withholds as much as it discloses

Other nominated books by Sarah Waters

The Little Stranger
The Night Watch