Monday, January 13, 2014
Review: THE DAYLIGHT GATE, by Jeanette Winterson
The Daylight Gate is a book made for Halloween but guaranteed to give you a chill on the hottest day of the year. British author Jeanette Winterson delivers a quick, powerful punch blending historical fiction, horror, sex and suspense in the tale of Alice Nutter, a wealthy woman being persecuted for witchcraft in 17th century Lancashire. And the thing is, it's not entirely clear she's innocent.
Winterson based her novel on real people and events and the book includes an introduction to clarify how she blended fact and fiction. But it doesn't really matter. What matters is the story that follows, about Reformation politics and anti-Catholicism, ("Popery, witchery, witchery popery"), powerful women, powerful men, and men and women who wish to be powerful when economics and social stratification has rendered them powerless. It's also about sexual relations and how some kinds of sex act as currency while others are vilified as devilry. And it's about the power of passion and the power of love.
The Daylight Gate is a quick read, intense and incredibly suspenseful even as the end is already written. Pick it up when you have some time to yourself. Winterson's writing is more clipped and plot-centered than I think is typical for her but she puts her powers to good use and the result is unforgettable.
FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.