I am going to start by saying that I am still not over the fact that this is Sarah Waters’ debut novel. Tipping the Velvet is a human being’s debut novel. I am sorry, but every single time I consider this fact I just feel like laughing because Tipping the Velvet, this majestically well written novel, is someone’s debut. I mean, how is it even possible? I really do not know what to say.
Sarah Waters is, in my humble opinion, an absolute genius. Her writing style is the perfect lead in the tango that is reading. It is an addiction, urging you on and, at the same time, allowing you to take your time by giving you space to taste every single word. What a breathtaking puzzle! And so gloriously built.
The writing could be it, could be all. It is not, though. Not only is Sarah Waters an amazing writer, she is also a brilliant storyteller. Her characters, their voices, the stories and histories, the places, the smells, the memories… it is all so vivid, so real. It feels almost as if Nan is sitting in front of you, telling you this story. I love how she seems to expect no judgment, how she does not take the time to wonder whom she might have shocked by being her selves. Unless it is someone she cares about.
I need to re-read this book. I don’t think I am ready to say anything else before that.