The Daylight Gate: Book summary and reviews of The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

The Daylight Gate

By Jeanette Winterson

The Daylight Gate
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2012,
    192 pages.

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Book Summary

Set in seventeenth-century England during the reign of James I - the monarch who wrote his own book on witchcraft - The Daylight Gate is best-selling writer Jeanette Winterson's re-creation of a dark history full of complicated morality, sex, and tragic plays for power.

This is a world where to be Catholic is a treasonable offense. A world where England's king vows to rid his country of "witchery popery popery witchery" and condemns the High Mass and Black Mass as heresies punishable by torture, hanging, and burning.

Winterson's literary suspense tale takes us deep into a brutal period of English history, centered on the notorious 1612 Pendle witch trials - an infection of paranoia that crossed the ocean with the Pilgrims and set the scene for the Salem witch hunt.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. [A] nightmarish novella that burns like a hot coal ... An electrifying entertainment." - Kirkus

"Starred Review. The book is short, violent...and absorbing. The language is simple and sometimes lovely, and to say that the book could have gone the extra mile and been a graphic novel is not to damn it, but to recognize the pleasure in its intensely visual qualities." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Recommended for fans of Winterson, an eclectic British writer whose first novel Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit won the Whitbread Prize for Best First Novel. Those with a fascination for this dark era in history will be eager to read." - Library Journal

"From one gruesome development to the next, Winterson's haunting imagery and narrative immediacy captivate...an engrossing story that's sure to leave you shivering." - Catherine Straut, Elle

"The novel is a tour de force of horror writing, but it never descends into shilling-shocker territory. It's an almost impossible balance for the writer to strike, but Winterson succeeds triumphantly." - The Saturday Times

"Sophisticated ... Visceral ... Utterly compulsive, thick with atmosphere and dread, but sharp intelligence too." - The Telegraph

"Gripping ...The narrative voice is irrefutable; this is old-fashioned storytelling, with a sermonic tone that commands and terrifies. . . . [Winterson] knows where true horror lies. Not in fantastical dimensions, but in the terrestrial world." - The Guardian

"Vigorous ... Filled with Winterson's characteristic intelligence and energy ... This dark story with its fantastical trappings of magic and mysticism, its strong women and wild, Lancastrian setting is Winterson's natural habitat and she maps it with relish." - New Statesman

"The Daylight Gate is a fast-paced, vivid novella that is every bit as dark, dangerous and sexually charged as one might expect from a storyteller of Winterson's calibre." - Scotland on Sunday

"...[Winterson's] great skill as an author is most evident in the way she navigates past the cliches of the occult genre, while creating a novel of genuine horror. The Daylight Gate is an enthralling story unfussily told. I read it all in one sitting, only wishing there were more." - London Evening Standard

"Dazzling...Winterson is a deft storyteller and a writer of wonderful economy... Amid the blood, mud, and violence, [it is also] intensely poetic... One of the very few contemporary novels that I actually wished were longer." - Literary Review

"In a feverish climate, where fear of women and their sexuality often translated into rape and persecution, Winterson creates a deliciously dreadful tale that cleverly blurs the line between real and imagined horror." - Metro (4 stars)

"The beauty of the writing, exemplary in its pared-down simplicity...[is] so seductive that by the middle I was hooked." - The Independent

The information about The Daylight Gate shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Jeanette Winterson Author Biography

Born in Manchester, UK in 1959 and adopted into a firmly religious family, Jeanette Winterson studied at Oxford University. Her first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published in 1985 to tremendous acclaim, and she later adapted it for television. Since then she has written numerous novels, including Sexing the Cherry, The Passion, and Written on the Body. She has won several prizes including the Whitbread Prize, and the Prix d'argent at the Cannes Film Festival.

Link to Jeanette Winterson's Website

Name Pronunciation
Jeanette Winterson: jeh-NET WIN-ter-son

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