Publisher and Publication Date: Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House. 2020.
Genre: Nonfiction. Memoir.
Audience: Readers of memoirs in regard to reflection of hard times, character growth, and lessons learned.
Link for the book @ Amazon.
Katherine May’s Goodreads’ author page.
Katherine May has written in Wintering what she experienced and learned during several events that happened during her 40s. These events include an illness for both her and her husband, a lengthy recovery process for her, a career change, and raising a son.
May is a reader, and she mixes into her memoir quotes from Sylvia Plath, C. S. Lewis, Carol Ann Duffy, and Barry Lopez.
There are several things I love about this book.
- It is a book to read slowly, savoring over well written and thought-provoking sentences.
- She uses nature to create a word picture about a subject. For example, later in the book there are references to the activity of ants and beehives. And she often mentions going for long walks to the beach.
- She is honest about her unbelief in religion. She refers to herself as a “middle-class” agnostic. She prays but to no particular idea or person. Why do I like this point? Because she is not shy about how she feels. I am a Christian. I am an active member in a church. I enjoy church. May comes across as not at a point where she needs or wants God. She wants to be able to agree with the belief system first. Most of the people I know are Christians. To hear about another type of belief or unbelief (to not have a belief in God is also a belief) is unique and different and enlightening to me. Even if I disagree.
- I enjoyed the reference to other books and authors.
- She encourages embracing the wintertime in life. Embrace and learn. It is important to grow from the experience.
- The book is filled with wonderful and meaningful quotes.
“More than any other season, winter requires a kind of metronome that ticks away its darkest beats, giving us a melody to flow into spring.” Page 115-116. She goes on to say it is important to pay attention and learn from this time or experience. I agree with this thought. But I’m thinking of the object, a metronome. A metronome is a small devise that is wound up by hand or set to help a pianist keep the right beat or rhythm. It is something that a human controls and sets. Whereas life is often not something that can be controlled. Further, sometimes the winter season in a person’ s life does not entirely go away. It does not go away because of serious health problems or other reasons. Some people have very hard lives.