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Affinity

Author: Sarah Waters

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Synopsis – Taken From The Book.

An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting Millbank Prison, Victorian London’s grimmest women’s jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Among the prisoners — murderers, petty thieves, and prostitutes — she meets a lovely and enigmatic spiritualist named Selina Dawes. A medium of some renown, Selina was imprisoned after a seance she was conducting went awry, leaving an elderly woman dead and a young woman profoundly disturbed. A skeptic, Margaret is at first unwilling to believe Selina’s claims of supernatural powers, but as the two grow closer, Selina begins sending her messages — a hank of braided hair appears mysteriously on Margaret’s bed, flowers appear from nowhere, and somehow, Selina knows things about Margaret she’d never before revealed. “We share an affinity”, Selina tells her, and Margaret, seduced by the mystery of this shadowy world and Selina’s gifts, concocts a plot to secure Selina’s freedom. But does Selina really have otherworldly powers, or is Margaret — who’s been taking doses of morphine and laudanum as part of her psychiatric treatment — simply seeing things? A wonderfully moody, haunting ghost story, “Affinity” is a truly pulse-quickening read, a spine-tingling mystery awash with the scenes, sights, and smells of a dark and gloomy 19th-century London.

“Now you know why you are drawn to me – why your flesh comes creeping to mine and what it comes for. Let it creep”

From the dark heart of  a Victorian prison, disgraced spiritualist Selina Dawes weaves an enigmatic spell. Is she a fraud or a prodigy?

By the time it all begins to matter, you’ll find yourself desperately wanting to believe in magic.

 

About The Author

Sarah Waters was born in Wales and now lives in London. She has a Ph.D. in English Literature and has been a lecturer with the Open University.

Many of her novels have been adapted for television and she has also been nominated and shortlisted for many literary awards, achieving success in several.

‘Affinity’, has been adapted as both a screenplay and feature film. It has also won both the Stonewall Book Award and Somerset Maughan Award.

 

My Review

This was a ‘book crossing’ find, in a charity shop. I have never read any work by this particular author before and have had no recommendations about her work to set any expectations by. It is certainly not for you, if you are looking for a light-hearted, easy to read story, with a happy ever after ending. Just the opposite. This a deep, mysterious and intricate story, which is actually fairly disturbing. It is however a brilliantly written story, which draws you in from the very first page and doesn’t let you go again, until the very last word has been finished. It deals with Lesbianism, in a time when the punishment for such an act, would have been horrific, particularly if you were a ‘lady’, turning the book into part wrenching love story. A tale of power and possession, that really makes you want to believe in ‘magic’, the further drawn into the story you become. I must admit that I never saw the twist in the end coming and had thought it would conclude in quite a different way; but it worked just right in bringing the saga to a natural conclusion. After I had finished it, I did check it out on various other sites, where it seems to have unanimously great reviews. It seems to sit within Mystery/Thriller and Gay/Lesbian genres and I think it does tend to drop into both quite nicely, without being offensive in either.

 

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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Written by Yvonne

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