Book 843 Jeanette Winterson – Sexing the Cherry


I must admit that when I found out that I had to read another Jeanette Winterson my heart did sink a bit. After all the two novels I read by her weren’t exactly my favourite books of all time. I tend to find her self-indulgent and over emotional at times.

Sexing the Cherry was different. It’s a more light-hearted affair which combines fantasy with feminism, mixed in with concepts of time and space. It does contain Winterson’s usual themes but there’s a more flighty aspect. At times I was reminded of Angela Carter’s fairy tales.

Jordan is adopted by his giant dog keeping woman (in the 17th century) and by the time he comes of age he sets off to travel both the physical and metaphysical world. During his travels he encounters the twelve dancing princess – who all have a story to tell him and help him realise the role of the male in society.

We jump forward in time 20th century and Jordan is cast again as a navy cadet and his mother is an environmentalist. This time Jordan tries to connect his present day self with the 17th century one but gives the impression that the previous life is made up.

I can’t say I loved this novel as at times I felt that there could have been more added but I was satisfied and glad that there is at least one Jeanette Winterson that I can definitely recommend.

Book 870 Jeanette Winterson – Written on the Body

My first encounter with Winterson was in 2002 and the book was her debut Oranges are not the only Fruit. I did not like it at all. I found it over emotional and verging on the pretentious at times. Although I approached written on the Body in the same way, the exact problems started to crop up.

Do not get me wrong though. Written on the Body is a very sensuous love story and there are many beautiful passages which spill off the page. It is a tale on both physical and spiritual love and Winterson goes deep in the subject. As a huge plus point we don’t even know the sex of the narrator (although I kept on thinking that it was a female) so there’s a lot of ambiguity. Not to mention the section which focuses on body parts, which is a complete stunner.

My gripes start with the fact that sometimes Winterson can get a bit over emotional in her writing. There were times when I would cringe a the narrator’s inner thoughts on the lover’s husband. I also felt that the ending piled on the melodrama. So I can’t say that I loved this novel.

Although it may not be of any huge importance, does one think that there is a female and a male view on love? When reading this book I felt that the narrator was a female due to the constant emotions and passion she had for her lover.