Rhonda Johnson
May 09, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Gut Symmetries

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Jeanette Winterson
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

Lecturing to tourists aboard the QE2 in Gut Symmetries, Alice, a brilliant young Oxford physicist, meets and falls in love with an older colleague, Jove. But when Jove’s wife learns of the affair and seduces Alice herself, a destructive love triangle is born, one that will have its macabre denouement at sea. In Jeanette Winterson’s beguiling sixth novel, fascinating fragments of physics, astrology, Jewish mysticism, and 15th-century alchemy are fused into a love story. Only when several of the many narrative coincidences, parallels, and ghostly apparitions ultimately prove to be gratuitous does the novel’s haunted effect devolve into self-conscious posturing. B

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