By Lisa Levy
Updated December 01, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

Novelist Jeanette Winterson (The Passion) writes about love the way van Gogh painted sunflowers: lovingly, obsessively, always seeking a fresh way to present the subject. She’s so possessed by a specific spirit of love — the one that lures married women into affairs with other women — that she’s practically begging to be the Oprah-style expert on this topic. The Power Book engagingly explores the metaphor of lover as author, revealing how love creates us as we create it. Unfortunately, the book also indulges in gender-bending Dungeons & Dragons-style fantasy sections, the most embarrassing of which involves a tulip used as prosthetic penis. At her best, though, Winterson is an alchemist of cliché, transforming what we think we know about love into something we can use. B