12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The test of time,
This review is from: Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit (Paperback)
When I first read this book I would have given it five stars. Or six, if that were possible. It had a profound effect on me, and I am grateful for that. But on re-reading it recently, I was disappointed - and decided not to urge my daughter to read it after all. There must be other books that will speak to her more powerfully, because they are mnore of their time. Maybe this is unfair - because perhaps this is the danger of re-reading any book we love: the book is the same, but we have changed. I think Oranges is a child of its era. It opened the doors to many women readers and doubtless many writers too. It certainly felt ground-breaking. I am gratful to Winterson for that. She went on to write The Passion which to my mind is her very best novel - a flight of fancy that manages to be moving and perfectly-structured and totally magical. The problem I had with Oranges on re-reading it some 20 years on was that the more fanciful 'mythical' sections jarred horribly. They felt simply embarrassing. Yet my younger self was quite happy with all that - and indeed, probably entranced. The lesson I have learned from this exercise in re-reading is: analyse your expectations. And prepare for disappointment.