This is just the very beginning of the plot, but it's filled with various twists and turns and secrets. I was deliciously shocked a few different times along the way. I hear that this novel is an homage to Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, which I still haven't gotten to but am sure I will like. For me, it was more like Oliver Twist, with the orphans and poverty and Fagin-like benefactors with illegal businesses. Nobody can be trusted, that's for sure.
As usual, Waters brought the setting alive with her rich detail and beautiful prose. Reading one of her books is to immerse yourself into another time and place, to really slip into another person's shoes and experience their life. I can't say that I especially liked any of the characters, but a few I could sympathize with. They were all victims of their upbringing or circumstances. All were intriguing though, and there were a few I wish I knew more about.
When it comes to Sarah Waters, I think I still liked Tipping the Velvet best so far, but Fingersmith was an excellent and well-told story which I enjoyed right up to its satisfying end.