I read The Little Stranger sometime ago and had been making a note of Sarah Waters and her books. This one is as you could say "a strange bird". Till page 175 of the book I really did not know which way it was going - there was Sue - a girl of the Borough of London, rough, street smart, a thief and there was Maud - a ladylike girl brought up very protectively with an uncle, and then there was Gentleman (anyone more unlike one never saw). When I came to this part of the story, the whole thing unfolded and confounded me. It was totally different to what was expected and took you completely out of any preconceivd ideas of how the book was going.
It is difficult to write about this book - about the story that is without giving it away. Set in Victorian England the book deals with topics which were very hush hush in polite society of the time. Lesbianism, thievery, erotic literature which was obviously so well established at the time all take one slightly aback. It adds to the storyline though and forms an essential part of the book.
The book is so descriptive of the 1860's in England - the poverty, the gentry, the landscape and the way of life that, that alone makes it worthwhile reading. Add to this the twisted tale it carries and you have to read this book. At the beginning I found it slow going but midway it sort of drags you along till you have to finish the book.
548 pages in a small font which made it difficult for me to read but that is a problem I have to learn to live with!!!