Sunday, 13 March 2011
Affinity, Sarah Waters
Waters’ exploration of Victorian Spiritualism made a fascinating novel. The common conception of the Victorian age is rather a puritanical one, everyone being prim and proper and with the urban myth of people covering their piano legs for modesty! But it was also an era of discovery, and people found the world as they knew it quite turned upside-down. Anything might be possible! Affinity, like the two aforementioned classic, is a proper gothic novel, creepy and eerie, with seemingly clear lines blurring, between life and death, madness and sanity, real and imagination. I did not quite trust Selina through this novel and racked my brains trying to work out how she managed her “tricks,” or whether she was a genuine medium. There seemed to be no natural explanation for her accomplishments.
But were my suspicions of Selina right? In The Little Stranger, Waters leaves the ending ambiguous, and I wondered whether she might do the same here, to leave the reader to work out for themselves what had happened. Does Waters answer all the questions? Well, Affinity is such a wonderful read, I couldn’t possibly spoil it for you – you’ll just have to read it for yourself. All I will say is that there was a wonderful twist at the end, one that Waters has set the plot up for, and yet you shouldn’t see it coming. Affinity is a gorgeous and very satisfying tale, and I’m keen to get my hands on the rest of Ms Waters’ work. An excellent novel.
If you liked this you may enjoy:
The Little Stranger, Sarah Waters
Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens
The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins,
Film: The Illusionist