January 9, 2016 by Betty
Title: The Gap Of Time
Author: Jeanette Winterson
The Winter’s Tale is one of Shakespeare’s “late plays.” It tells the story of a king whose jealousy results in the banishment of his baby daughter and the death of his beautiful wife. His daughter is found and brought up by a shepherd on the Bohemian coast, but through a series of extraordinary events, father and daughter, and eventually mother too, are reunited.
In The Gap of Time, Jeanette Winterson’s cover version of The Winter’s Tale, we move from London, a city reeling after the 2008 financial crisis, to a storm-ravaged American city called New Bohemia. Her story is one of childhood friendship, money, status, technology and the elliptical nature of time. Written with energy and wit, this is a story of the consuming power of jealousy on the one hand, and redemption and the enduring love of a lost child on the other.
The premise seemed great, but the execution not so much. My main complaints, the prose seemed dull and unengaging, the language from Leo, King Leontes, is vulgar and crude most of the time and while I understand it stems from his paranoia and anger I just could not continue reading it. There is also the past sexual relationship between Leo and Xeno, King Polixenes, that serves as a back story and give a “foundation” to Leo’s later rage and irrational envy towards his friend but it just made me uncomfortable. The violence, Leo’s attempt to kill Xeno in a parking garage, his raping his wife in their home, and overall themes of envy, paranoia and greed were very off putting to me.
Granted, I have read many good reviews on the book, and I agree that the overall story idea itself is quite good. In my personal opinion however, I did not enjoy this novel. If you have read it let me know what you thought of it and why.
**I received this book as a free copy via Blogging for Books for an honest review**