I picked this up because I'd read Winterson's 'Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit' years ago, and really liked it. But, while that was an autobiographically-inclined novel, this was quite different. A historical novel, it tells the story of a young French man who becomes Napoleon's cook, and a wild Venetian girl with a penchant for cross-dressing. These two unlikely characters' lives eventually intertwine, with hefty doses of the surreal and magical realism. Winterson is an extremely talented writer, but I found the experience to be a bit uneven at times - perhaps just because I liked the parts featuring Villanelle (the girl) much more than those with Henri. The book is vividly and poetically written; it is also philosophical and sad.