Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson is not really a novel, as much as a meditation on romantic love, sex, and what it means to be an embodied being. There are some neat tricks in the novel. We never find out if the narrator is male or female. So eros becomes free floating, detached from gender. This brings with it limitations. Male and female desire have elements in common, but also, generally, dissimilarities.
When the novel actually develops a plot, Winterson’s power wanes. She is not as adept at telling a story as outlining the landscape of human desire. So the end comes with a plop. After some gorgeous prose, we are treated to a happy conclusion that brings little joy.