We should not dread the winter. We should prepare for it, accept it, adapt to it. May’s book provides solace for the dark days. She shows us that winter is an opportunity for rest and rejuvenation. Treat yourself to this beautiful book! Hunker down, retreat, and enjoy the quiet bounty that winter has to offer.
“Every bit as beautiful and healing as the season itself. . . . This is truly a beautiful book.” —Elizabeth Gilbert
An intimate, revelatory book exploring the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down.
Sometimes you slip through the cracks: unforeseen circumstances like an abrupt illness, the death of a loved one, a break up, or a job loss can derail a life. These periods of dislocation can be lonely and unexpected. For May, her husband fell ill, her son stopped attending school, and her own medical issues led her to leave a demanding job. Wintering explores how she not only endured this painful time, but embraced the singular opportunities it offered.
A moving personal narrative shot through with lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world, May's story offers instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. Illumination emerges from many sources: solstice celebrations and dormice hibernation, C.S. Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing arctic seas.
Ultimately Wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear. A secular mystic, May forms a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.
About the Author
Katherine May is a writer of both fiction and nonfiction. Her journalism and essays have appeared in a range of publications including The Times (London), Good Housekeeping, and Cosmopolitan. She lives by the sea in Whitstable, England and is an avid lover of the outdoors.
“Wintering is every bit as beautiful and healing as the season itself. Katherine May thoughtfully examines the emotional, spiritual, and geographical reality of the cold times, the dark days, and those periods of our lives when things are neither soft nor easy. In so doing, she offers a great and humane service to her readers: she shows us that wintering cannot be avoided, but need not be feared. This is truly a beautiful book.” – #1 New York Times bestselling authorElizabeth Gilbert
“Wintering is the book equivalent of a perfectly timed hug you didn’t know you needed, a warm blanket on a cold day. So many books about adversity focus on ways to get away from the discomfort, and this book so wonderfully and sincerely says it's okay to be here, even when it hurts. It's exactly what the world needs right now.” – Nora McInerny, host of Terrible, Thanks for Asking
“Enthralling…[May] has a gift for unleashing unexpected comedy…There is so much to treasure here…Her sensual connoisseurship a joy.” – The Guardian
“May brings a poet’s eye and unexpected comedy to this enthralling celebration of our fallow season.” – London Observer
“An empowering and touching read that will inspire a survivalist spirit on even the darkest days of winter.” – Town & Country UK “An elegant investigation into the consolations of nature and how it can be wonderfully restorative even on the bleakest of days.” – Sunday Express
“A beautifully written mix of memoir and philosophy...With a pandemic keeping us isolated in so many ways, May offers much-needed solace and comfort and a reminder that seasons eventually turn.” ” – starred Booklist ★
“An intimate meditation on solitude and transformation...A serene evocation of a dark season.” –Kirkus
“Beautiful...She is a poetic observer of the natural world, and quotable lines abound...I want to share Wintering with all my friends who experience winter blues, and keep a copy close at hand for the inevitable winterings of my own life.” – BookPage
“In this elegant memoir, journalist May finds beauty and transformation in a difficult period of her life… May’s evocative ode to retreat will appeal to fans of Deborah Levy’s The Cost of Living.” – Publishers Weekly