Monday, January 13, 2014

Review: THE DAYLIGHT GATE, by Jeanette Winterson

The Daylight Gate, by Jeanette Winterson. Published 2013 by Hammer. Literary Fiction.

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.

Rating: BUY

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.


bermudaonion said...

Clipped and plot centered sounds perfect for me.

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

THis may be the most enthusiastic review of this book that I've read. Winterson tends to be hit or miss for me, but this sounds like a fun read.

Literary Feline said...

You make this sound good, Marie! I am going to add this to my wish list.

moazzam sheikh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
moazzam sheikh said...

I really remember being impressed by her Passion, for almost the same reasons you point out in this book, and she is one writer I had meant to keep up with but couldn't due to time constraints and other distractions. I need to revert to her, soon.