In this re-imagining of Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, King Leontes is transformed into Leo, a hedge fund manager, his wife Hermione becomes Mimi, a French singer, and King Polixenes morphs into Xeno, a computer game-designer. With the kingdoms of Sicilia and Bohemia becoming London and the American Deep South, the stage is set for Leo's irrational jealousy and its tragic consequences: sexual obsession; friendships destroyed, hearts broken, exile and a child abandoned.
This is a timeless story of redemption and forgiveness, with the power and mystery of the original play cleverly captured by these contemporary characters and settings.
Those who survived the first 'act', with the despicable Leo, ended up enjoying the remainder of the book with its whimsical characters and wittiness. As with Shakespeare some suspension of disbelief is required for the resolution, but we had some lively discussion, even though most had not actually read 'The Winter's Tale'.
We found the book interesting, challenging, and worth a second read to explore the twists and depth of meaning. The formula was interesting and made us want to go back to the Shakespearean roots. We discussed our responses to the end which seemed uncertain and a possibly a bit over-staged ( which was fair enough given the formula). It made us want more - we will look for another Jeanette Winterson.
Very clever and very stylish, and with a very unpleasant and irredeemable central figure in Leo.
At the conclusion of a lively discussion about 'The Gap in Time', all the members of our group felt this was a book we would all like to own. Although the book was written in response to the challenge to re-write 'A Winter's Tale', it is a fantastic book in its own right. Our members particularly enjoyed the sometimes elliptical writing and the deft dialogue. Jeanette Winterson also brought a sympathy to the characters...
The group liked this book. It was lively and amusing. Discussion centred on the question of how well it matched the play.
Our group was divided over this book, with approximately a 50/50 split. It was interesting that half loved it, and the other half really disliked it - it was not a book that anyone felt lukewarm about. The Shakespeare connection was very polarising.
Maybe it's a book better to read twice. Book notes were excellent. A clever, dark and savage piece of writing. Not many really enjoyed it, but a few did.
What an amazing book! Such a clever writer with a wonderful connection on every page.