The Gap of Time – a too-close Shakespeare retelling by Jeanette Winterson

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing

A father and son discover a baby girl, and decide to look after her. In another time, a father grows convinced that his wife has been cheating with his friend, and that his daughter is not his own. He sends them away. And eventually, all the people and all the characters come together, etc etc etc.

The above is a plot description for both this book and for Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. This book is part of ‘Hogarth Shakespeare; a project to get renowned contemporary writers to adapt the bard’s plays, and a summary of this one appears in the front of the book. I was unfamiliar with the story so read it greedily, hoping for the ability to spot clever parallels and riffs from the original. Generally, however, I felt disappointed. Winterson’s version did not seem to add or grow the story at all, just to set it in a different time in a fairly straight way.