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Have you read The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson? Post your feedback by 16 August for chance to win £100 Love2Shop Voucher!

(41 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 27-Jun-16 18:15:08

A baby girl is abandoned, banished from London to the storm-ravaged American city of New Bohemia. Her father has been driven mad by jealousy, her mother to exile by grief. Seventeen years later, Perdita doesn't know a lot about who she is or where she's come from - but she's about to find out.

Jeanette Winterson's retelling of The Winter’s Tale is alive with the poetry of the Shakespearean original, but also tells a modern story of love and loss. The Gap of Time takes the reader on a journey to show that no matter how far we are separated from each other, we can always be found again.

To celebrate the paperback release of The Gap of Time, we have 50 copies of this lyrical, compelling novel to give away to Mumsnetters who want to read and share their thoughts about it on this discussion. Go to the giveaway page to find out more about the book and apply for a free copy.

You don't have to win a free copy to take part in the discussion. Anyone who has read The Gap of Time can post their feedback here. If you miss out on a free one, you can buy a paperback. All who post feedback before 16 August will be entered into a prize draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher. The giveaway ends on Monday 4 July so apply now!

This giveaway is sponsored by Vintage Books

pinkspideruk Sun 10-Jul-16 01:34:28


Received and read my copy of the book from the giveaway today thanks smile

I've not read the Shakespeare original so found the abbreviated version at the start useful.

Interesting book - not what I was expecting at all - found some of the sexually explicit bits a surprise as wasnt expecting it.

This isnt really a book I would necessarily have picked up based on the blurb but it was surprisingly engaging and once started I really wanted to know where the characters were going (even though I kinda knew from the intro bit!)

SciFiFan Fri 15-Jul-16 14:28:43

I've just finished reading this book and have to say it was beautiful. I hadn't expected it to be so engaging but I found myself eager to keep reading wanting to know how she moved the story on whilst keeping true to the original Shakespeare play.

The name choices were very clever and the language was both simple but very evocative. I would happily recommend this to anyone whether you are a Shakespeare lover or not.

I had never read anything by Jeanette Winterson before but I will be sure to try some of her other works now I know how good she is.

horseyrider Fri 15-Jul-16 16:29:01

Liked the introduction of the original Shakespeare version at the beginning. The Shakespeare language was very well used. Interesting bit towards the end about Perdita and Kel's relationship. Not my usual type of read but interesting none the less.

queenoftheschoolrun Sun 17-Jul-16 20:26:06

What a great book! Thanks for my free copy.

Clever concept, brilliantly executed. It should be recommended reading for all English Lit A Level students. The graphic scenes illustrate just how shocking Shakespeare's writing could be.

I'd quite happily read a whole series.

shelaghh Mon 18-Jul-16 15:19:24

Shakespeare's "The Winters Tale" was too deep for me, and so is Jeanette
Winterson's version."The past is never dead", and quite rightly so. Life poses questions and we have to find the answers- "This is a fact of Life."

susanterblanche Thu 21-Jul-16 21:18:17

Thank you so much for my copy, I really enjoyed it! I have read 1 other Jeanette Winterson novel, but this was quite different. I am not really familiar with A Winter's Tale, I enjoyed the summary of the play at the beginning and found the book very was to read. I would definitely recommend it to a friend 😊

Samlet Fri 22-Jul-16 12:12:28

Thanks for my free copy.

I saw the Kenneth Branagh cinema streaming of the Winter's Tale earlier this year so luckily the base story was familiar and it added an extra dimension to wonder how different aspects would be dealt with in this version.

I really enjoyed this book - we have The King of Capri, a children's book by Jeannette Winterson and I think she is particularly good at the slightly otherworldly, fairy tale type tale. It is an easy read but with some memorable and beautiful passages. I'd recommend it

daisyduke66 Fri 22-Jul-16 16:21:19

A great concept, which appears to very popular at the moment!! Very slickly written and rather lovely! A wander from my usual genre but am glad I read it. Definitely worth a read.

CopperPan Fri 22-Jul-16 17:11:48

A Winter's Tale was one of my A Level texts so it has always been a favourite of mine. I was intrigued by how a contemporary author would retell the story and I found it was very cleverly done. The story was fast paced and witty and I found it difficult to put down.

dalek Sat 23-Jul-16 14:31:57

Thank you to mumsnet for my free copy. It was very useful to have synopsis of A Winter's Tale at the beginning as it is not a play I know. I am really enjoying the book and actually think that this may be a way to teach Shakespeare to teenagers. The book is quite graphic but very accessible. If someone who was averse to Shakespeare were to read this and then be introduced to the Shakespeare version they would get so much more out of it intend of feeling that it was dusty, dry and irrelevant.

Loved the little references to the original and to to Jeannette Winterson herself. A clever and original take on a retelling of an older story - would definitely recommend.

jonniesmum Mon 25-Jul-16 12:53:31

Thrilled to have won a copy. Looking forward to reading it.

juleslucas Mon 25-Jul-16 13:17:45

Thrilled to have received a copy, whilst I have not got far with this book yet I love the concept and I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book.

TalesOfStepford Mon 25-Jul-16 14:39:01

Received my copy, thank you very much. I am enjoying this book so far. I find Jeanette Winterson's writing beautiful and enchanting, she is a confident and poignant story teller. It's a long time since I've read A Winter's Tale so the synopsis was excellent idea.
I'll report back once I've finished, but so far an intriguing and fascinating novel.

lesley37 Mon 25-Jul-16 14:59:13

Thanks for my free copy of this fast paced modern interpretation of 'A Winter's Tale ' very witty and a joy to read.

Mozarmstrong Mon 25-Jul-16 15:41:08

Lovely to win this one I'm struggling little bit but understand the concept ill 'read this a few times and tell my book friends to buy it. Thank you .

whenthetimecomes Mon 25-Jul-16 16:17:35

Delighted to receive a copy, and I'm now halfway through it. So my views so far are of necessity only partial, and may be subject to change....

It's quite a gripping story so far. I know the play well already (being a bit of a Shakespeare specialist myself; in fact I happen to be an exact contemporary of Winterson from Oxford days, and was aware of her even then...) In a sense this is a bit of a disadvantage, as I'm finding the plot slightly clunky when it is stretched in some unlikely ways purely in order to fit in with Shakespeare's original: for example in some of the characters' names, and in the psychologically unrealistic decision of Leo (Leontes) to get his elderly gardener (!) Tony (Antigonus) to take the new born baby girl on a long flight to New Bohemia to join her supposed father Xeno (Polixenes). Tony's death by bear is translated into a cruel hit and run car accident/mugging in the street. Some transpositions work better than others. My feeling so far is that Winterson could have afforded to let herself be less doggedly faithful to the (definitely fantastical) original, and taken a bit more artistic licence with the plot where necessary.

The aspect of the novel so far that I'm finding most interesting is the exploration of Leo and his insane misguided jealousy of wife MiMi in her presumed affair with friend/ex-lover Xeno. Winterson is following in a quite well-established recent tradition of writers reworking a Shakespeare original into something contemporary yet recognisable( to the initiated) like Jane Smiley's powerful book ''A Thousand Acres' (based on King Lear). Whether they diminish, actually equal or even transcend the original is, of course, the question..... Smiley did, I think, and her novel certainly stands alone even if the reader was totally unaware of the Shakespearean basis. So far I'm reserving judgement on this one.

I'll come back to let you know what I think of the ending!

janeyf1 Mon 25-Jul-16 18:47:41

A wonderful novel - exceptionally well written, engaging and deeply moving. I can't wait until next weekend when I can continue reading it

debjani Mon 25-Jul-16 21:20:38

DH has raced through this book and he says: an excellent read. Thought-provoking and insightful. An interesting, moving insight into human motivation and the importance of forgiveness. I was initially doubtful about the artificial premise of the book but Shakespeare's story was convincingly reset in modern times and there were some extremely amusing observations like Autolycus' on roundabouts and the Oedipus complex!

KJ123 Wed 27-Jul-16 13:49:57

Thank you very much for my copy. I haven't got too far yet, but am enjoying it. I've been meaning to read a Jeanette Winterson book for ages so was really pleased to be chosen. The story so far is quite gritty and modern, with one fairly unlikeable character, and I am intrigued enough to really want to keep reading and see how the story develops. I haven't read A Winters Tale, but it seems typical of how Shakespeare's stories and characters transcend time - human nature does not change much over the years.

VicKWhish Wed 27-Jul-16 14:30:04

I found the abbreviated version of the original at the start useful too.

VicKWhish Wed 27-Jul-16 14:58:18

I found it engaging too and thought the name choices were a clever update.

VicKWhish Wed 27-Jul-16 14:59:40

I'm looking forward to reading Ann Tyler's take on The Taming of the Shrew - Vinegar Girl even more now.

VicKWhish Wed 27-Jul-16 15:02:11

it certainly was 'fast paced and witty and 'hard to put down'

VicKWhish Wed 27-Jul-16 15:03:32

I agree that it would be a good introduction to Shakespeare especially for teenagers and would make me want to reread the original.

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