Review of The Gap of Time

Friday, 5 February 2016
I've completely forgotten how to begin a blog post so hi.

Book: The Gap of Time

Author: Jeanette Winterson

Publisher: Random House

Genre: Retelling, Adult, Contemporary

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Summary: The Winter's Tale is one of Shakespeare's “late plays”. It tells the story of Leontes, King of Sicily, whose insane jealousy results in the banishment of his baby daughter, Perdita, from the kingdom and then the death of his beautiful wife, Hermione. Perdita is brought up by a shepherd on the Bohemian coast, but through a series of miraculous events, father and daughter, and eventually mother too, are reunited. 

In Jeanette Winterson's retelling we move from London, a city reeling after the 2008 financial crash, to a storm-ravaged city in the US called New Bohemia. Her story is one of childhood friendship, money, status, video games and the elliptical nature of time. It tells in a hyper-modern way, full of energy and beauty, of the consuming power of jealousy on the one hand, and love, redemption and a lost child on the other.

Review: I enjoyed it. It was good, it was fine.

The whole purpose of the book was to have a modern, bestselling author retell Shakespeare--something that I feel Jeanette Winterson did quite well. In fact, I really enjoyed the writing and liked her style. (Also, Winterson retelling The Winter's Tale. Was this on purpose???!!!)

That being said, I feel like maybe at certain parts, the plot was somewhat forced to mirror that of The Winter's Tale to the point where it didn't feel natural. (Not to say that this hasn't happened in other retellings when an author really wants to make sure they hit all of the plot points, even though it is completely okay to forgo a few. Really, no one cares unless they are a hardcore Shakespeare fan.)

Overall, I think this book will appeal the most to fans of Shakespeare as it is a retelling of Shakespeare and the plot does really mirror that of his play very closely. But I do think that people who are not completely against Shakespeare might enjoy it too.

***Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for review. This has in no way influenced my opinions and thoughts.

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