I decided to relax this week with a good fiction book, and so I cracked open "The Gap of Time" by Jeanette Winterson. I should have left it closed.
I was excited about it because I do love Shakespeare.
And this book is based upon one of his later works, "The Winter's Tale".
"The Winter's Tale" is about 2 kings, Polixenes and Leontes who are good friends, until Leontes believes, incorrectly, that his wife, Hermione, is having an affair with Polixenes. Leontes tries to kill Polixenes, who finds out and runs away with Hermione. Hermione gives birth to Leontes child, and is killed. The child is raised by a shepherd, unbeknownst to Leontes. After some more drama and tragedy, the child grows up, falls in love with Polixenes child, and everyone reunites. Hermione comes back to life, and it's happily every after.
Maybe it was because I am a lover of Shakespeare that I had such high hopes for this story, because it is suppose to be a modern take on the Shakespeare tale. I thought it would be great to see how Jeanette translates the ancient tale to a new love story, but I was woefully disappointed. I couldn't even finish the book. In fact, I barely made it to the 3rd chapter. Mostly because the author depended too heavily on sex to try and tell the story. The first 2 chapters go into unneeded graphic detail of Leo's (Leontes) and Xeno (Polixenes) childhood friendship and homosexual relationship. After growing up Leo is married to MiMi (Hermione) who is pregnant with his child. But the author chooses to describe, in graphic detail, another story of Leo's sexual encounter with a prostitute, which is also unneeded, in my opinion, to develop the story. By chapter 3, which started with mostly cussing, I was so disgusted I closed the book. As I've said before, I am not a prude, but I do not understand the need for modern writers (and I use that term lightly) to rely on sex and vulgarity to tell a story. And I will not waste my time reading it.
Jeanette Winterson lives in England and is an accomplished author with many novels under her belt.
As I looked over a list of her works, I realized that I would probably not enjoy any of them.
Now back to "The Gap of Time", I will not share this book, or recommend it to anyone.
I'm only giving it one star, and this warning....if your looking for a wonderfully written story to take your imagination on a ride, you won't find one between the covers of "The Gap of Time" by Jeanette Winterson.
** While I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review, the opinions are wholly and honestly mine. **