A Report on a Very Special Book

Heartwings says, “Reading a good book is a pleasure and a joy.”.

When I was in school, I always enjoyed writing book reports. Ever since I learned to do it, reading has always been especially enjoyable for me. Book reports were never a chore because I liked to share stories or information that pleased me. To this day I often recommend what I am reading to a friend who I think might also enjoy it.

Recently, I joined a library book club and the chosen book for the past month was one called Wintering, by Katherine May. Once I began to read it, I was hooked. Now, having finished it I feel so enthusiastic about this book, I am recommending it not just to my friends and family but also to my readers. Perhaps this “book report” will encourage some of them to at least get Wintering from the library, if not buy a copy.

Because the amount of time I have to read has for several reasons diminished, I normally read for entertainment only. My genre of choice is urban fantasy fiction. Wintering is neither fantasy nor fiction, it is a thoughtful, beautifully written book about the times in one’s life that resemble winter: dark, difficult cold, difficult, even painful.

Writing from her own ordinary experiences, May has brought to light what we all have to live through at times. The periods she terms winter are those bleak weeks or months or more when nothing seems to be working, when we feel sad, lonely, incompetent, perhaps even depressed, and more.

That may not sound like an enticing theme. However, it might surprise you. May shares the way she has learned to move through these times with grit and grace. She speaks with frank truthfulness about her feelings and how she deals with her ups and downs, her triumphs, and tragedies. The reader is carried along with May in this compelling book about how she copes and also even how she can’t.

The author is British, and the places she speaks of have unfamiliar names, but the circumstances she has to deal with do not. Illness, dismay, disappointment, and failure fill these pages, and then they are overcome by fortitude, energetic coping, and the author’s special, ultimate courage–whether she succeeds or fails in whatever life has handed her. Sometimes overcoming one’s feelings of inadequacy after a failure, provides a different kind of success.

Along the way she also shares stories of others, and there is interesting information as well, tucked in here and there. Most importantly, this book is not preachy or “New Age” in its philosophy. May is a serious professional whose writing has been widely published. She doesn’t offer anything trite or shallow by way of solutions to difficulties. Instead, she shows us by example how she dealt with her issues, and what that was like for her. This is an inspiring, authentic book written from the heart, presented in beautiful, clear, sometimes poetic prose.

May you enjoy learning both from books and from experience.

Blessings and best regards, Tasha Halpert

PS If you do acquire this book, please tell me how you enjoyed it, I always treasure your responses and will always write you back.