But, Mistress, do not be seen to stray too far from the real that is clear to others,
or you may stand accused of the real that is clear to you.
Title: The Daylight Gate
Author: Jeanette Winterson
First Published: 2012
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 3.37)
I would recommend this book to: Jeanette Winterson fans, people interested in witch trials, and anyone in the mood for a poetic novel.
The Beginning: The North is the dark place
In The Daylight Gate, Winterson explores a historical event, the Trial of the Lancashire Witches in 1602. But she makes it her own story in beautiful prose. She makes the characters her own, bending them the way she pleases. How much of it is real? I don’t know and I don’t care. The Daylight Gate is fiction; the historical event is just Winterson’s playground.
And she plays beautifully. Her prose is exquisite, almost poetic, with an imaginative atmosphere (if that makes any sense?) And then, once in a while, we’re suddenly struck down with the horrifying and grotesque side of humanity.
She thinks about Hell, and is it like this? She thinks that the punishments of the Fiend are made out of human imaginings. Only humans can know what it means to strip a human being of being human. She thinks the Fiend has a kind of purity that humans never have. She thinks that godliness is ridiculous because it exists to hide this; this stinking airless doomed cell. Life is a stinking airless doomed cell. Why do we pretend?