My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Over the span of about 800 pages, we follow 19-year old Sugar from her life as a prostitute through her interesting climb up the social classes of Victorian London.
First thoughts: This is a solid/heavy book - one I read entirely at home, since it was too large to carry with me on the train. I enjoyed with with plenty of coffee/tea/wine. And I made it all the way through! I'm glad I stuck with it, though Faber's narration kept things moving right along.
Almost Did Not Finish: Yep, there was a point where I was like, "is this book worth it?" - but as I said, Faber's narration was on point. The plot and characters were intriguing, but any less genius in the actual writing and I'd have given up or gotten bored.
NSFW: Sugar is a prostitute. Her profession plays a large part in the telling of the story, and in the subtle nuances of the prose. If you blush easily, don't read this in public (but still read it!).
"...she was born to be a dissenter within a larger certainty, she knows that." -p354
"for all that he isn't worthy, he lays claim to her as if he is, as if sin has yet to be invented, and they are two animals on the sixth day of creation." -p469
"I would read a thousand million pages, Miss; if all the words were words I could understand." -p793
"You imagine you can make it last for ever, then suddenly it's over." -p835
Recommended for: marathon readers, lovers of Victorian England, fans of a slow burn and a long con, champagne dreamers on beer budgets, people with a bottle of wine and an evening to themselves.
Final thoughts: So glad I stuck with this book. It's one to get lost in for sure.
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