Once again I look at the Visual Bookshelf rating and don't understand the 84%. This is absolutely one of the best books I've read all year, if not the best (then again, considering what I've read that might not be so much of a compliment).
I have a few gripes with it, the main one being the overuse of the verb "gave" where it seems unnecessary. She gave a sigh, I gave a smile, I gave a shake, etc. when of course the second verb alone would have sufficed. I admit to not knowing so much about Victorian literature and it's possible this kind of writing was done a lot then, and that Waters emulates that.
My other gripe soon dissipated but had to do with Nancy's profession after Kitty (I won't give away more than that).
Nancy is flawed but likable, as most of the characters are. The foreshadowing works extremely well and though this is not a suspense novel as one normally thinks of suspense, it is a page-turner; you just *have* to know what's going to happen. The setting - the theater scene, the impoverished parts of London, the lesbian salons and patronizing of wealthy lesbians all make the story come alive and make one realize that social class and status have more to do with a person's attitude than does sexual identity. The fact that Nancy is androgynous and dresses in men's clothes, well, that never goes amiss with me! ;)
The happy ending? Well, perhaps a little contrived, but then so many lesbian novels have a history of unhappy endings, and it is fiction. I'm a sucker for happy endings anyway. There aren't enough in real life. I highly recommend this book!