I feel like I ve been repeating other Personal Delivery people s speeches all my life Now when I want to make a speech I hardly know howIf you are fretting over how to tell me you are leaving I am fretting I said over how to tell you how I love you over how to say that you are the world to me 35 stars This was my first foray into the writing of Sarah Waters According to my friends I have been missing out on some great lit Now I m no longer out of the loop Tipping the Velvet follows a young lady named Nan over the course of several years We start with the early stirrings of her new found sexuality as she finds herself gazing adoringly upon a young femaleerformer dressed in male clothing The story continues throughout the various changes in her life which force her to take a long internal look at not only how she views the world around force her to take a long internal look at not only how she views the world around but Also At How She Views HerselfThis Is My First Experience at how she views herselfThis is my first experience historical lit that subtly invokes moments which remind me of an artistic erotic La Viña de Naboth ,Tomo I painting sensual moving yet not completely garish The story of Nan is about than just who she chooses to love The sexual moments are merely one smallart of a girl who is on the road to her own self discovery The writing was absolutely beautiful I loved Ms Waters descriptions of the setting the clothing and the characters Little details were captured vividly in my head even such insignificant things as when Kitty went to kiss Nan s hand and Nan drew it back out of fear that her hands would smell like the oyster liuor which came from her time of working at her Gettysburgs Battlefield Photographer-William H Tipton parent s seafood house The way that it was described almost made Nan even that much charming as if she were different in her own very special way by having an uncommon occupationOne thing that I love to read about in books is when the story comes full circle Every event in Nan s life shapes who she is in the next moment Every event ties to therevious I often talk about moments in time this is a glimpse into the life of a girl who shared several rare moments with several rare and original Husband In Training personality types This isart of what made the story specialIf you re looking for a traditional romance story this will not be the book for you However if you re looking for a story about a character finding oneself you might enjoy the journey of Nan King As seen on The ReadventurerWell I definitely have never read anything like this before I dare you to read this book s synopsis and not get curious at least a little bit The moment I set my eyes on a short description of Tipping the Velvet on the 1001 Must Read Before You Die Books list I knew I had to read it Cross dressing lesbians kept women music hall singers renter boys I mean what s not to likeFirst and foremost this is a book about lesbians my first and written by one at that so as far as the relationships in this novel are concerned they are authentic in my mind I don t know about you but I just hate it when straight authors write gay books Live Wire (Elite Ops, particularly erotica What can theyossibly know I found myself uite ignorant of how such relationships work Lesbian Nancy Astley was born in Whitstable Kent in the late nineteenth century She s from an ordinary hard working family and from a very young age she helped in her Words of Radiance, Part 1 (The Stormlight Archive parents fish restaurant shucking oysters until her fingers were red raw with t why read charles dickens when you can read sarah waters LESBIAN SEX SCENESI knew that s all you wanted to hear about I m going to go on with my review but you re welcome to stop reading now that you know the juicy stuff And no I will not go on to describe in dripping detail any of the aforementioned LESBIAN SEX SCENES For shame I knowSo anyway a while back my friend Coventry hadiles and Lauras Summer Ballet (Laura, piles of books she was giving away and this was one of them Seeing that it was written by Sarah Waters I nabbed it immediately andlaced upon my shelf waiting for just the right time to read what I was sure would be a delightful sapphic treasure I d read another of Sarah Waters books a couple years back and it was errrrfet image error Call this the lesbian version of Maurice Girl meets girl then another one then another Odd that in the late 19th century England so many lesbians would all be out and about strolling the dirty streets Even odder still that the heroine of the novel happens to stumble upon them all This took considerable research I m sure and how cool is it to get this articular oint of view The biggest mistake however was to give the narrative the first erson touch making Nan King into a Bella from Twilight type ie clueless trite sometimes all too selfish girl which eradicates any form of elegance that would have transformed this novel into something much better Plus although it doesn t take too much imagination to guess what the title actually means not until Film on the Left page 400 does the title finally make sense therimary reason I read this I believe had much to do with that strange title It s not often that I like a book so lis. Nan King an oyster girl is captivated by the music hall henomenon Kitty Butler a male impersonator extraordinaire treading the boards in Canterbury Through a friend at the box offi. .
Ten up and listen wellIf someone had given me the bare bones outline of Tipping the Velvet and suggest I read it I d have kindly told them to The Mob piss off I have a job a kid to raise and an already low tolerance for contemporary fiction A book about cross dressing lesbians in Victorian England wouldn t spark enough interest in me to getast the title ageSilly me Good thing I thought that tipping the velvet was a reference to the theater hint it s not and mistakenly believed I was buying a book about East End actresses This mistake was a blessing and this novel renewed my faith in modern fiction Tipping the Velvet carries a variety of themes that have bored me since my first Women Velvet carries a variety of themes that have bored me since my first Women Studies classes in college identity cross dressing gender roles and sexuality Yet alongside these nearly foreign concepts were the universal themes found alongside these nearly foreign concepts were the universal themes found all great works of literature assion lust betrayal scandal violence redemption and love So what did it leave me with A book that shot a breath of life into all of those tired old themes A book I couldn t Who Killed Blanche DuBois? put down and not just for theositively raunchy and at times touching sex scenes that had me blushing to my hairline No What kept me hooked was the astoundingly good writingWhen describing being backstage at the theater after a Utopia performance I caught a glimpse of ladders and ropes and trailing gasipes of boys in caps and aprons wheeling baskets manoeuvring lights I had the sensation then and I felt it again in the years that followed every time I made a similar trip back stage that I had stepped into the workings of a giant clock stepped through the elegant casing to the dusty greasy restless machinery that lay all hidden from the common eye behind itWhen telling us about a dirty mirror we re told that the small looking glass was as cloudy and as speckled as the back of an old man s handWhen discussing the ways of her tyrannical lover There is a way rich O Jogo do Acaso people have of saying What The word is honed and has aoint The Wedding Day put on it it comes out of their mouths like a dagger coming out of a sheath That is how Diana said it now in that dim corridor I felt itierce me through and make me sag I swallowedYeah Writing like that will keep you up at night The hot sex scenes The bizarre gender roles that Firefight (The Reckoners, previously would have left me uninterested The story itself All just added bonuses This chick could write aboutaint drying and make it fascinating She makes cross dressing hooking and other ahem unmentionables seem completely exciting alive and blessedly normal I love it Finally A work of fiction that doesn t suck or make me feel like I ve gotten dumber by the time I ve finished it KICKED ASS It appears that currently the most common criticism of this book on goodreads is that it seems formulaic Perhaps I am behind the times but when did elouent lesbian coming of age stories set in England 200 years ago become so commonplace as to even HAVE a formulaUltimately this is a love story embedded in a fluid tale of heart ounding and heart breaking moments over the course of Nan s life Either the girl gets the girlboy in the end or the girl doesn tpredicting the ending with a fifty fifty shot at getting it right does not make a book formulaic IF however anyone who accuses this book of being so standard actually said to themselves in the first chapter well I bet this innocent oyster girl winds up falling in love with a crossdressing vaudevillian entertainer who will shortly be introduced as a characterand after that love affair goes awry approximately midway through the story she will robably have to turn to dressing as a male rostitute who gives handjobs to old men to make ends meet then I stand corrected Personally my internal magic eight ball didn t redict any of that Oh gag I have SO many Stumble Into Love problems with this book What the hell was this supposed to be anyway I will go through theossibilities Historical Fiction Set in the late 1800 s in stuffy Victorian England we meet Nancy a young lady who falls fast and hard for another young woman Gun Meister Online performing in a theatre Yadda yadda yadda they re a couple Yadda yadda yadda Nancy is shocked that her sister doesn t accept this Yadda yadda yadda Nancy meets and bedsretty much every female that subseuently crosses her Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 285 path If the character has a vagina Nancy is sure to be tipping the velvet with her in short order I m not sure if Sarah Waters meant this to be historically accurate but I just can t believe that it is in any way Youngeople in THIS century have a hard time coming out But Victorian Nance is loud and Fifty Key British Films proud And never seems to suffer because of it I just didn t see this as authentic to the time at all aside from the costumes Romance It does tick off this box I suppose with Nancy s 500ages of Twentieth-Century Music and Politics pining for Kitty And all the sexy girlgirl scenes But then dear godlease explain the ENDING to me which was so very olitically earnest I forgot what book I was reading A socialism rally with every single lesbian in Lon. Ce Nan manages to visit all her shows and finally meet her heroine Soon after she becomes Kitty's dresser and the two head for the bright lights of Leicester Suare where they begin. Don in attendance Literary Fiction Sarah Waters is
a decent writer It sbecause of her storytelling that I finished this book But I just couldnof her storytelling that I finished this book But I just couldn writer It s because of her storytelling that I finished this book But I just couldn take it seriously Was I meant to I m so confusedIn addition to all these complaints I really disliked the main character Nancy didn t endear herself to me at all She turfs her family thinking about the various men s suits she wears than her arents and siblings She mistreats her friends She CHOOSES to work the streets and isn t in the least bit damaged by itThe I think about it it occurs to me that than anything this is a re write of history giving Voice To Relationships That Certainly DID Happen In The 1800 to relationships that certainly DID happen in the 1800 but no one talked about I can get my mind around that but somehow it doesn t raise my appreciation of this book much Have you ever tasted a Whitstable oyster If you have you will remember it Sarah Waters Tipping the Velvet Sarah Waters Tipping the Velvet is the gay Victorian epic you didn t know you needed in your life From its unsubtle opening come on to its sort of Can Government Think? pedantic ending this is Charles Dickens with a twist That twist I don t think this is a spoiler happens to be a really specific description of a strap on dildo In my reading life I don t think I ve come upon something like this before Likely I wouldn t have but for a bit of luck By way of background I m a straight white male living in the conservative heartland of America who likes reading about the Civil War and drinking cheap white wine chilled with ice cubes Just so we understand each other I drink that wine out of a hugelastic wine glass that can almost be classified as a novelty Thus when Sarah Waters sits down to write her novels I am likely not the intended audience for which she spins her yarns Possibly I am the furthest thing from it Nevertheless great fiction transcends all bounds In other words despite being classified as gay fiction this is really just great fiction a Fostering Change in Institutions, Environments, and People premium example of sublime storytelling My first experience with Waters was at the end of 2014 with her novel The Paying Guests Intrigued by the marvelous reviews and theromise of a little of the between the sheets action for which she is famous I Regulating Medicines in Europe picked it up Despite being far less risu than I might have imagined or hoped if I m being honest it was an engrossing reading experience This led me by happy accident to circle back to Waters first novel Tipping the Velvet Tipping the Velvet is a huge messy fun saga the aforementioned Dickens spiced with some of Michael Faber s The Crimson Petal and the White and than a dash of My Secret Life Imagine Pip from Great Expectations except Pip is a headstrong lesbian who leaves his family and Magwitch is a rich widow in the market for a cross dressing sex slave That just about explains this sprawlingicaresue take on the classic coming of age story Set in the 1890s Tipping the Velvet is narrated in the first Studying Cities and City Life person by Nancy Nan Astley a young woman born and raised in Whitstable Kent where she works in her family s oyster restaurant Waters getsoints for many things Subtle symbolism is not among them When Nan opens her story she has just begun to fall in love from afar with Kitty Butler a masher who sings Bi America popular tunes while dressed in men s clothing at a nearby theater Nan goes to watch Kitty every chance she gets Eventually Nan becomes her dresser Later they become friends Soon enough like everylucky Victorian era East Asia in the World protagonist Nan leaves home to follow Kitty to the big city She gets on stage She becomes Kitty s lover She meets with some successAnd at someoint there is a bump on the road and Nan s real adventure begins This is a book that I almost gave up on Like The Paying Guests it starts slowly And I mean real slow The most fundamental The Wives of Bath part of a story is conflict and Waters who is a deliberative writer carefully setting the stage andiling on details keeps the road smooth for a long time Just over 150 Wool-Gathering or How I Ended Analysis pages or less But once Nan s newfound life gets a little shakeup the rest of the novel sages move at a much uicker Epistemologies of the South pace There are unforgettable supporting characters uniue setieces there is a bacchanal that trumps every Security Management party scene in War and Peace and a wonderfully recreated London full of gritty tactile details Take for instance a description of a boarding room that Nan comes to inhabit The room to which she led me was cramped and mean anderfectly colorless everything in it the wallpaper the carpets even the tiles beside the hearth having been rubbed or bleached or grimed to some variety of gray There was no gas only two oil lamps with cracked and sooty chimneys Above the mantel there was one small looking glass as cloudy and as speckled as the back of an old man s hand The window faced the MarketAll I really saw however was the bed a horrible old down mattress yellow at the edges and blackened in the middle with an ancient bloodstain the size of a saucer and the door The bed for all its rankness seemed at that moment wonderfully A glittering career as music hall stars in an all singing and dancing double act At the same time behind closed doors they admit their attraction to each other and their affair begi.