Affinity by Sarah Waters
A young upper-class woman, Margaret Prior, just recovering from a
suicide attempt starts to visit the women in Millbank prison. There she
meets Selina Dawes who is jailed because of a seance gone wrong. Selina
is a spiritualist.
As the story progresses Margaret seems to be
more and more drawn to her. At the same time Margaret's home life is
becoming more and more difficult. Her siblings are all married and she
is hounded by her mother. She is taking more and more drugs for her
I disliked this story. It is dark and forbidding just
like the prison. I have read Waters before and loved her stories but
this just did not ring at all true. Who in their right mind would allow a
young person who had just tried to commit suicide to visit in a dark
place like a prison or to be left alone for any length of time at all?
Wouldn't her mother try to keep things light and not depressing? Also
this concept of Victorian ladies having to faint, have headaches or
swoon is beyond my thinking. Oh yes, and let us overcompensate these
conditions by handing out drugs or better yet letting these young ladies
take whatever amount of drugs they wish. I guess the best thing I took
away from this book is that all Victorian ladies have no brain cells.
First Line: "I was never so frightened as I am now."