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I found this book to be a refreshing exploration of sexual identity and preference as well a truly entertaining read. There is a surprising honesty about the feelings Nancy experiences and I am sure that anyone who has had to come to terms with their sexuality in an unaccepting world will be able to relate to some of the characters and their experiences. Compared to other Sarah Waters' books such as Affinity, Tipping the Velvet is more openly a lesbian novel, with the sexuality of the characters and love between Nancy and the women she forms relationships with being the main focus throughout the book. It's well written and deviously descriptive; there's love, betrayal, history, secrets, lies and deliciously naughty sex. What more could you want?!
The book follows Nancy Astley a Whitstable oyster girl who, after meeting music hall singer Kitty Bulter (who performs as a boy), travels to London as her dresser. Once in London love between the pair blossoms and Nancy joins Kitty on the stage. The relationship ends when Kitty decides to get married to hide her feelings for Nancy. A heartbroken Nancy runs away, taking money and a few of the male costumes she wore on stage. After months of hiding from the world she takes to the streets as a man and becomes a rent boy in order to survive. When on the street she's picked up by the rich and passionate Diana Lethaby. Nancy enters a cruel and decadent world in which she's prized and prostituted, and finally beaten and kicked out. After wandering the streets she's taken in by Socialist Flo Banner. Love blooms once again but is threatened with the return of Kitty.
Well done on your first review! It started really well, but I thought ended a bit abruptly! If you decide to add to it, please let me know. alley x
kitty17 21.11.2006 04:48
Hi and welcome to Ciao, well done on your first review, I thought you gave quite a bit of information about the plot but not much info about your opinion of the novel and what you thought of it, whether you liked it and what you liked about it, if you edit let me know and I would happily re-read for you, hope this helps, Ellie.
lesa60 20.11.2006 22:56
Welcome to Ciao. Good first review - I've always meant to read this but never got around to it. It would get higher ratings with a bit more detail though so if you edit, let me know and I will re-read. :)