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Wintering by Katherine May. Book review

February 17, 2020

Book cover of Wintering by Katherine May

On the face of it, Wintering is a book with all the potential for a litany of misery. Instead Katherine May makes her medical misfortune a contemplative exercise and a wonderful example of seeing and thinking about the world around her and her location within it. For that alone it is worth any writer reading Wintering for inspiration.

The mosaic of experiences works really well as May explores everything that shuts down or copes with overwintering, both the season or as a result of illness. This makes for a very comforting read as the author writes in a way which really connects the reader with May life and experiences while seeking ways to get through her illness. In this way Wintering welcomes you right into May’s world rather than keeping you at arm’s length as a mere voyeur to her struggles. The result is uplifting, and far from depressing.

Even while lying on the “cold, verruca-damp tiles” of the floor of a changing room, having overdone a sauna, the author’s description of an embarrassing and potentially serious situation exuded a wry sense of humour, which did far more than just make me smile.

May writes beautifully and poetically. The descriptions are delicate and fascinating in detail, each of which is to absorbed and relished.

Wintering is a book to be enjoyed many times, particularly on the dark days, be they literally the mid-winter type or psychological, as May takes you by the hand on a fascinating journey through a potentially bleak season.

Wintering was courtesy of Ebury Publishing, via NetGalley.

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