THE LIGHT IN THE DARK: A WINTER JOURNAL
By: Horatio Clare
A Guardian ‘best book of 2018’
‘Magical, moving and deeply atmospheric’ – Patrick Barkham
As November stubs out the glow of autumn and the days tighten into shorter hours, winter’s occupation begins. Preparing for winter has its own rhythms, as old as our exchanges with the land. Of all the seasons, it draws us together.
But winter can be tough. It is a time of introspection, of looking inwards. Seasonal sadness; winter blues; depression – such feelings are widespread in the darker months. But by looking outwards, by being in and observing nature, we can appreciate its rhythms. Mountains make sense in any weather. The voices of a wood always speak consolation.
A brush of frost; subtle colours; days as bright as a magpie’s cackle. We can learn to see and celebrate winter in all its shadows and lights. In this moving and lyrical evocation of a British winter and the feelings it inspires, Horatio Clare raises a torch against the darkness, illuminating the blackest corners of the season, and delving into memory and myth to explore the powerful hold that winter has on us. By learning to see, we can find the magic, the light that burns bright at the heart of winter: spring will come again.
[Clare] is a fine observer, and the lushness of his prose offers a striking contrast with the stark lineaments of the winter landscape, both physical and spiritual
- Jane Shilling, Evening Standard
Vivid, luminous prose
- The Observer
This is a very powerful book indeed …. Supremely well-written … Clare is a brilliantly inventive prose stylist, and some of his descriptive writing here is so good it makes you stop and smile and immediately read it again.
- Roger Cox, The Scotsman
An enthralling book of beauty and pain, tenderness and imaginative absorption … [Horatio Clare is a] prose-poet of mesmerising lyricism
- Juliet Nicolson, Spectator
A treasure of a book, wonderfully attentive in outlook and generous in spirit
- Amy Liptrot
This sensuous evocation of winter darkness is a startlingly honest escape from seasonal depression. Horatio Clare beams through his own despair by exposing the intimacy of family love in the fiercely shafting light of his glittering prose
- John Lister-Kaye
Lyrical and beautiful
- Kate Blincoe