‘Some winters happen in the sun,’ writes Katherine May. ‘This particular one began on a blazing day in early September, a week before my fortieth birthday.’ When her husband becomes dangerously ill, it coincides with a moment in May’s life when she is facing professional and personal stress and an uncertain future, and it ushers in a period of what she calls ‘wintering’. ‘Everybody winters at one time or another; some winter over and over again,’ she explains. ‘Winter is a season in the cold, a fallow period in life when you’re cut off from the world, feeling rejected, sidelined, blocked from progress.’
Described by The Observer’s reviewer as ‘a reading cure’ and ‘a tale of hard-won celebration’, May’s book is an honest, reflective, sometimes humorous account of her struggle to deal with her own bad times. She considers the healing power of rest and retreat and the consolations of nature, exploring the many ways in which we experience winter, both seasonal and personal, and offering some strategies for weathering the dark times in the year and our own lives.
Katherine May’s other books include The Electricity of Every Living Thing, her memoir of being autistic, and two novels, The Whitstable High Tide Swimming Club and Burning Out. She is the editor of The Best, Most Awful Job, an anthology of essays about motherhood, and her essays and journalism have been widely published in the UK and America. She lives by the sea in Whitstable.
Reader: Melody Grove
Abridged and produced by Sara Davies