How and where did you access it?
I purchased the book from Waterstones when I was about seventeen. I circled the Sex and Sexuality section they had at the time just staring at it for about ten minutes before I left. I told my mum I had forgotten something and ran back in and bought it. I then hid it under my bed because I wasn't "out" at the time.
How did it make you feel?
I tried reading it not long after I bought it but I was too young to really get my head around. I finally read it last year - ten years later - after watching the TV adaptation. I had read three other Sarah Waters novels in that time. But this for me was leagues above all the others. It changed reading for me, it made me desperately want to seek out more Queer fiction. And it was pivotal in sparking my passion for LGBT history. I could relate to young Nan Astley in a way I'd never related to another fictional character. It made me proud of who I was. It stirred a lot of attention at work when my colleagues saw the only lesbian reading "that lesbian book" and in defending my reading choice, it sparked this activist in me who now just will not go away!
Did you share it?
I never shared it. I think because it stayed in hibernation for a decade! I would, however, highly recommend it to anyone. It's such a crazy story, with some rather intense themes, but it's such a brilliant celebration of sexuality, coming of age and history.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about it?
It's Sarah Waters at her finest, and if you've not read any of her work before, you'll want to after this. It's an iconic novel that stands the test of time.