Saturday, April 9, 2016

Books: Affinity By Sarah Waters

(Drivebycuriosity) - Some people claim that they possess spiritual abilities and that they can communicate with ghosts. The historical novel "Affinity" by Sarah Waters focuses on such a person (amazon). The book, set in London in the late 19th century (Victorian era), is written in first person, told by Margaret, an affluent woman around 30 who still lives with her mother. In order to spend her time more worthwhile she becomes a regular visitor of a prison, where she talks with the female inmates. She develops an intense interest in the captive Selina, a young spritiualist who is convicted for fraud and worse (this is a spoiler free blog).

I purchased the book because I enjoyed Waters` novel "The Paying Guests" very much (here my review driveby ). "Affinity" isn´t as strong as the "Guests". It lacks the erotics of the "Guests" and the very slow paced story is a bit too long for my taste, but I liked the ending which compensates for some boredom.  I enjoyed the mystery and the dark atmosphere of the book. Waters` sinister description of Victorian London, the harsh prison conditions and the very special inmates reminded me of Kafka. The book is also an intense psychological study about "affinity" as promised by the title.

"Affinity" might entertain readers who like dark historical novels about female psychology with a mysterious twist.

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