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Gothic tale, psychological study, puzzle narrative This is gripping, astute fiction that feeds the mind and senses. "The Seattle Times " An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women s ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London s grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank s murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by on apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. Selina was imprisoned after a seance she was conducting went horribly awry, leaving an elderly matron dead and a young woman deeply disturbed. Although initially skeptical of Selina s gifts, Margaret is soon drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina s freedom, and her own.As in her noteworthy deput, "Tipping the Velvet," Sarah Waters brilliantly evokes the sights and smells of a moody and beguiling nineteenth-century London, and proves herself yet again a storyteller, in the words of the "New York Times Book Review," of "startling power.""show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 351 pages
  • 126 x 142 x 10mm | 99.79g
  • Penguin Publishing Group
  • Riverhead Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1573228737
  • 9781573228732
  • 200,900

Review quote

"[Affinity] confirms Waters' uncanny gift for establishing an instant connection between her readers and her flawed yet compelling central protagonists...she's a novelist of major rank [who] probes into questions of difference and susceptibility, privilege and confinement, betrayal and loss--and there are few young writers out there who can match it." --The Seattle Times "The novel takes numerous surprising twists and turns before the startling resolution...superb...Waters pulls out all the stops." --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "If lesbian fiction is to reach a wider readership, Waters is the person to carry the banner."--The New York Times Book Review "The author of Tipping the Velvet displays her incredible talent for the Gothic historical novel in this splendid book about a Victorian women's prison and the affair there between an inmate and a 'lady visitor.'" --The San Francisco Chronicle "Unfolds sinuously and ominously...a powerful plot-twister. The book is multidimensional: a naturalistic look at Victorian society; a truly suspenseful tale of terror; and a piece of elegant, thinly veiled erotica...Like a Ouija board, Affinity offers different messages to different readers, scaring the shrouds off everyone in the process."--USA Today "Waters has perfect pitch in her representations of bourgeois Victorian life, the puritanical misery of prisons in the 1870s, and the spiritualist subculture...a deeply absorbing book." --The Advocateshow more

About Sarah Waters

Sarah Waters is the author of "Tipping the Velvet," a "New York Times "Notable Book; "Affinity," which won her the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award; "Fingersmith" and "TheNight Watch," both of which were shortlisted for both the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize; and "The Little Stranger," which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award and a "New York Times "Notable Book. She has also been named one of "Granta"'s best young Britishnovelists. She lives in London."show more