Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Tanglewreck - Jeanette Winterson

I confess that I approached Jeanette Winterson's Tanglewreck with a mixture of caution and curiosity. A YA book from an author who's better known for Sexing the Cherry and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit was a rather novel idea. I'm pleased to be able to say, however, that I thoroughly enjoyed this Science Fiction tale.

In a house called Tanglewreck lives an 11 year old girl named Silver River. She lives with her detestable guardian Mrs Rokabye, who claims to be her missing father's sister. Silver does not know it but hidden somewhere there is a family treasure, a 17th century watch called the Timekeeper, which holds the key to the mysterious and frightening changes in time that have been occurring lately. Nobody seems to know what to do when the Time Tornadoes start. Some days are long, and others are short. Time stops for long periods, then jerks forward very fast. People are getting caught in Time Traps - finding themselves locked in the past, or pushed into the future, disappearing without trace.

The sinister Abel Darkwater arrives at Tanglewreck, searching for the watch. He persuades Mrs Rokabye to bring Silver to see him in London, intending to question her on the whereabouts of the missing Timekeeper, which he has wanted for many years, and which Silver's father had refused to sell to Darkwater. Eventually Silver finds that she must begin a journey through Time and Space to search for the Timekeeper. During her journey she meets up with a loyal boy named Gabriel, who is a Throwback to a previous century. Together they attempt to reach the Sands of Time where they believe the Timekeeper will be found. Ranged against them are Abel Darkwater and a mysterious, coldly beautiful woman named Regalia Mason, who also wants the Timekeeper.

There is quite a lot of science in this book: time travel, quantum physics/mechanics, Schrodinger's famous Cat, Einstein's Theory of Relativity. Fortunately Winterson presents the science in a readable way so that even a non-scientist like me doesn't feel too much at sea !

(This book was received for review from Nikki Gamble at Write Away.)


Unknown said...

Sounds interesting!

Michele said...

It is interesting - and reasonably well told. It didn't make me want to go and read any of her adult books though !