The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson

The Daylight Gate is nothing short of magnificent. Set in the 1600s, King James's lands are jittery with fear. To be accused of Catholicism is nearly as fearful as to being accused of witchcraft – which was thought to be rife throughout the kingdom. In this land of dark suspicion, the beautiful Alice Nutter holds landed estates and is independently wealthy.

On her country estate, Alice allows some simple destitute women to reside in peace. One of the women is accused of supernaturally striking down a pedlar. Other accusations of witchcraft swiftly follow – women within the group begin denouncing one another, leading them to be incarcerated in a dungeon in Lancaster Castle in conditions so horrific that they start to die before the trial. Doubts towards Alice's motivation in helping the women, jealousy over her wealth, confusion about her unusual past, her beauty and her almost unnaturally youthful complexion, draw suspicion to her, and the ghastly nets begin to close around her.

In the subtle hands of a master storyteller, the true tale of Alice Nutter and the Pendle Witches is a sophisticated masterful read.

Review by Nicole @ Great Escape Books