Thursday, 18 December 2014

Gut Symmetries - Jeanette Winterson

I have returned from my travels! Scotland was pretty fab and I had the best of times; there will be a blog post to follow shortly but for now here is a review of the book I read before I left!

I'm not going lie, I was a little bit disappointed in this book. It's not bad, but I usually love Winterson's work, and I just didn't find myself grabbed by this at all. It was perfectly fine, but nothing special really. These were my reactions as I was reading it:

I wasn't originally planning on scanning these pages because I didn't think they were particularly interesting, but then right at the end something really weird happened and I just found my reaction quite funny! 

Essentially, there were a couple of reasons why I was a bit disappointed with this book. Firstly, I just didn't find the plot that engaging. I just didn't particularly care about what happened to the characters and, as my notes show, I thought Jove was a bit of a dick really. Also, I didn't enjoy the prose as much as I usually do with Winterson. The last three quotes I jotted down were really lovely and were the only parts of the book that really came close to the standard of her other books I've read. For example, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is packed with moments that make my heart ache with how beautifully they're been put into words, and there were also lots of moments that were actually really funny and made me smile. Whereas with this book, there were hardly any moments like that. I do, however, really like the whole passage that includes the quotations about feeling in colour and a space where people want to live. That moment just reminded me of how good she could be.

The narrative switches between three characters and at times it definitely felt a bit disjointed, especially the first section. I enjoyed it more as the book went on although I'm not sure whether that's just because I got used to it or because it improved. The physics elements that ran throughout were interesting and reminded me a little of Atwood's Cat's Eye (which I enjoyed more than this). I don't feel like I have an awful lot more to say, I'm just feeling a bit disappointed by it really!

This book wasn't awful by any stretch of the imagination, I think I just had much higher expectations. It was perfectly enjoyable though so if you are a fan of Winterson's I would say give it a go, but if you were looking to get into her work then I would definitely recommend starting somewhere else (specifically Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit as your start point, then move onto either Sexing The Cherry or The Passion!) 

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