Paperback, 351 pages

English language

Published Feb. 24, 1999 by Virago.

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4 stars (7 reviews)

A spellbinding ghost story, a complex and intriguing historical mystery, and a poignant romance with an enexpected twist.An upper-class woman recovering from a suicide attempt, Margaret Prior has begun visiting the women’s ward of Millbank prison, Victorian London’s grimmest jail, as part of her rehabilitative charity work. Amongst Millbank’s murderers and common thieves, Margaret finds herself increasingly fascinated by on apparently innocent inmate, the enigmatic spiritualist Selina Dawes. Selina was imprisoned after a seance she was conducting went horribly awry, leaving an elderly matron dead and a young woman deeply disturbed. Although initially skeptical of Selina’s gifts, Margaret is soon drawn into a twilight world of ghosts and shadows, unruly spirits and unseemly passions, until she is at last driven to concoct a desperate plot to secure Selina’s freedom, and her own.As in her noteworthy deput, Tipping the Velvet, Sarah Waters brilliantly evokes the sights and smells of a moody …

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Review of 'Affinity' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

The plot was somewhat predictable, and like the setting, gloomy and depressing. I liked the story but felt it dragged on a little bit and by the end of the novel I was just reading it purely to finish it and see how it ended not because I was enjoying it. A shame, because I have previously enjoyed several of Sarah Waters' novels and while I felt the writing was good, the story just wasn't up to par with some of her other works.

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4 stars
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4 stars
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5 stars


  • Spiritualism -- Fiction.
  • Prisons -- England -- London -- Fiction.
  • Women prisoners -- England -- London -- Fiction.
  • London (England) -- Social life and customs -- 19th century -- Fiction.