Book Review: The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

Title: The Daylight Gate
Author: Jeanette Winterson
Publisher: Hammer Books
ISBN: 978-0-09-956185-9
Genre: Literary Fiction
Pages: 194
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4/5

I have always loved what Winterson writes. I have read everything that she has written, including her book for children and her non-fictional pieces as well. To me, she is everything a writer should be, but then again that is purely a personal opinion. I was overjoyed on receiving a copy of her latest, “The Daylight Gate” and could not stop reading it.

Here is something about the book: The Daylight Gate is set in England in 1612, a time of turmoil for the country – both in terms of religion and faith. This is the time when James I was in reign. A time of Catholicism, accusation and torturous purgatory. Witch-hunting was at its peak. That is essentially at the heart of the book.

The book is centered on the infamous Pendle witches’ trial and its aftermath. The incidents of their trial are true and set in Lancaster, where it all began and ended. Winterson but obviously fictionalizes it a little. The story centers on Alice Nutter, one of the witches and how by discovering a crucifix, does the trial start and its consequences.

In her latest book, Winterson leaves it all to the reader to decide – Were the witches really that? Was it moral to do what was done? She presents a solid piece of work – combined with facts and fiction. The writing was in short chapters and the punch was immediate and direct at times. There were undertones of feminism but they ended almost as soon as they began, without overtaking the essence of the book.

The book is not a read for the squeamish. There are gory blood scenes which probably are required, considering the plot and the context. It is well-constructed and the atmosphere that is created is just right. A must read for people who want to read something different for sure.

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