Saturday 19 October 2013

Book Review: The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

Title: The Daylight Gate
Author: Jeanette Winterson
Publisher: Hammer
Publication Date: September 2012
Pages: 194
Format: Hardback
Genre: Historical/Paranormal
Source: Bought Copy

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Good Friday, 1612. Pendle Hill, Lancashire.

A mysterious gathering of thirteen people is interrupted by local magistrate, Roger Nowell. Is this a witches' Sabbat?

Two notorious Lancashire witches are already in Lancaster Castle waiting trial. Why is the beautiful and wealthy Alice Nutter defending them? And why is she among the group of thirteen on Pendle Hill?

Elsewhere, a starved, abused child lurks. And a Jesuit priest and former Gunpowder plotter, recently returned from France, is widely rumoured to be heading for Lancashire. But who will offer him sanctuary? And how quickly can he be caught?

This is the reign of James I, a Protestant King with an obsession: to rid his realm of twin evils, witchcraft and Catholicism, at any price...
(Goodreads Synopsis)

The Daylight Gate is an intriguing short read that blends history with fiction. Despite its short length, the characters are still distinguishable and interesting, if not always very likeable or sympathetic. This book blurs genres a little, being historical one moment, paranormal the next, and even venturing into horror. But all this is accomplished with Winterson's accustomed ease.

As always her prose is sparse yet still engaging and descriptive, and all in all the novella is a pleasure to read.

If you like witches and magic and a little doom and gloom, then The Daylight Gate will be right up your street.

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