'A gripping gothic read' Sarah Hall, Guardian
'Utterly compulsive' Daily Telegraph
'So seductive ... I was hooked' Independent
The Forest of Pendle used to be a hunting ground, but some say that the hill is the hunter - alive in its black-and-green coat cropped like an animal pelt.
Good Friday, 1612. Two notorious witches await trial and certain death in Lancaster Castle, whilst a small group gathers in secret protest. Into this group the self-made Alice Nutter stakes her claim and swears to fight against the rule of fear. But what is Alice's connection to these witches? What is magic if not power, and what will happen to the women who possess it?
If you like her other novels, you will adore this. She has done her homework... the beauty of the writing, exemplary in its pared-down simplicity. It’s so seductive that by the middle I was hooked.
Sharp-eyed view of history... Winterson is at her best her when she’s dealing with real horrors.
This is a dazzling book. Winterson is a deft storyteller and a writer of wonderful economy. It is one of the very few contemporary novels that I actually wished were longer.
A book worth reading – utterly compulsive, thick with atmosphere and dread, but sharp intelligence too...Ultimately she combines compelling history and poetic dialogue with suspense...This rather more sophisticated story would make a particularly vivid film.
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Jeanette Winterson OBE was born in Manchester. Adopted by Pentecostal parents she was raised to be a missionary. This did and didn’t work out. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is based on her own upbringing but using herself as a fictional character. Read an extract of the novel below