Guest Lesbrarian Ami reviews Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

We have another guest lesbrarian! Her name is Ami, and here’s her review:

Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters


My rating: C

Summary: At 18, Nancy Astley is a fishmonger in coastal Whitstable, working with her sister and parents in the family oyster parlour. Smitten by male impersonator Kitty Butler, Nancy attends every show at the Canterbury Palace until the star notices her. A stunned Nancy finds herself Kitty’s companion and dresser, and sexual tension keeps the pages turning as she becomes first Kitty’s sweetheart, then her partner (“two lovely girls in trousers, instead of one!”) in a wildly successful stage act. (Summary thanks to amazon.)

Spoiler: If your looking for a book about two women whom first become friends, and later lovers, and those the two women face hardship and doubt, but at the end of the day love conquers all… This is not the book for you!

I pick up Tipping the Velvet for one reason: I wanted to read a Sarah Walter book, but I knew very well that they screw with the main characters lives.( I was a bit unsure about that since I am a normally love conquers all reader, but it’s oddly hard to find a love conquers all book that involves two women.) I did a google search of all her books and narrowed it down to two. Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith, because I had seen both on T.V. I ended up choosing Tipping the Velvet because I had more unanswered questions (Mind you I can’t remember what the questions were since I had seen the miniseries years before, but I remember having questions.) Of course now I want to read Fingersmith, go figure…

I want to point out that most would have given this book a higher rating than me. The plot itself draws you in. I believe I finished this book in two days; it is a really good book. I, personally–and I tried–couldn’t like Nancy. To me, her character wasn’t particular interesting. Almost all of Nancy choices in the book are selfish, if her choice somehow hurt someone else, oh well, it is all about the good of Nancy. And then when Nancy does find herself on hard times, she goes looking for those people whom she hurt to get her a hand out. I couldn’t like the main character, but I did like the book and other characters in it.

Ami’s Livejournal account is here. Please send in your own review! Just click “Guest Lesbrarians” at the top.

Have you read Tipping the Velvet, or Sarah Waters’s other works? What did you think of them?

Personally, Tipping the Velvet is my favourite book. I found the writing exquisite, and I loved the ending. But not all books are for everyone!

6 Replies to “Guest Lesbrarian Ami reviews Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters”

  1. allis

    I haven’t read Tipping the Velvet, though I’ve seen the movie and liked it a lot 😀 I’m planning on reading it someday since I read all of the others books by Sarah Waters.

    My favourite is The Night Watch. She wrote about a period of Hictory I really love, but most of all I love how the characters lives intertwined and the fact that it was more about the psychological aspect of the after war than action.

    I also really enjoyed Fingersmith a lot ! I love it when a book surprises me, so this one was a really great read for me. There really was a lot of unexpected actions. I always have a hard time trying to summarize it to people, because I never know what to say without giving away too many spoilers ^^

    I liked Affinity a little less, but that’s because I like the theme less.
    I also really enjoyed The Little Stranger, but I didn’t love the characters as much as in her other books. Though I love the atmosphere in it 🙂

    1. Danika Post author

      Tipping the Velvet was definitely better than the movie. Tipping the Velvet and Fingersmith were definitely my favourites, but Nightwatch, Affinity, and The Little Stranger were still pretty good.

      Fingersmith was definitely surprising! Yeah, I have difficulties trying to “sell” it without spoiling it.

  2. Stefanie

    I loved Tipping the Velvet, and I have liked the other Sarah Waters books I have read much less, unfortunately, because after reading TTV, I had been hoping they were all that wonderful. The movie is pretty fun, but
    I generally do prefer books over movies, and I think in this case the book just supplies you with so much more of the background and intimate details that a movie just can’t do.

  3. Heather

    Fingersmith is probably my favorite. I have The Little Stranger on my TBR shelf right now. I love period mysteries, and that’s what Fingersmith felt like to me, with all that dark and brooding energy.

    1. Danika the Lesbrarian Post author

      If you liked the darkness of Fingersmith, then you’ll probably like the Little Stranger, despite its tragic lack of queerness.

  4. Pingback: Laura Reviews Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters « The Lesbrary