Title: The Gap of Time
Author: Jeanette Winterson
Genre: Literary Fiction, Classics, Contemporary, Cover Version
Publication: October 6th, 2015
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.
Just to preface the review, I have never read The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare, but after reading Jeanette Winterson’s retelling, I really want to pick up the play!
I enjoyed Winterson’s play on time and characters in her most recent novel. She changes the race, sexuality, and class of the various characters in this novel, and if you are looking for a diverse novel, this definitely fits the bill! For readers who have not previously read the Shakespeare play, this book includes a short summary of the events of the play in the beginning. This way, readers are still able to compare and see the parallels between the play and this cover version.
I loved the themes of family and jealousy that Winterson plays with, and the novel was very easy to read, but engaging at the same time. The language can be poetic at times, but it does not detract from the action in the plot of the novel. I particularly enjoyed the second half of the book where there is a change in tone when we meet Perdita. I think it was very well executed despite the short read, and I definitely recommend it!
This novel is part of the Hogarth Shakespeare collection, and I am so excited! Some amazing authors are getting the chance to write cover versions of various Shakespeare plays, and I am definitely picking them up as they come out.
Note: Thank you Penguin Random House and Blogging For Books for sending me this copy for review in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are solely my own.