The Light in the Dark - Horatio Clare

A winter journal that delves into the beauty of our countryside, the dark moments we hide to ourselves and the joy family can bring over the winter months. Clare's writing spans nearly six months from October to the end of March detailing his thoughts and emotions on the run up to Christmas, the universally recognised slump between that and New Year and some more personal downfalls.

I was gifted this copy by Tandem Collective via Instagram to read and review. Timing this book to be read between Christmas and New Year was good thinking on my behalf as the book perfectly set the tone for that period. The writing was not only beautiful but connects the reader to the writer by describing the intimate workings of his emotions in such a raw way that it is impossible to not immediately love this book. Most of the book is based in the countryside and Clare utilises immaculate imagery to bring out the details we mostly overlook. This is especially prominent when the Christmas entries start, not only is it a magical time of year to celebrate but the natural setting Clare describes coincides so well to remind the reader to appreciate our surroundings.

As someone who struggles in the winter months to get out of bed and be active this was a refreshing take on being optimistic in these times. Clare uses a good selection of facts and statistics about depression and SAD (seasonal affective disorder) to show that if you are in this position you are not alone. Using real facts and real events from his life make the book so much more relatable and easy to read as we do not have to imagine these things happening, we are 'seeing' it happen with our own eyes.

Going through tough times is difficult enough to admit to those close to you, let alone make public in such a way so by doing what Clare has done only sends the message that it is okay to do so, and help will always be there. I really enjoyed this book and I think I read it at the perfect time of year, that being said it would fall a little flat or off mark if read any other time of the year. This book will remain on my shelf for next winter.

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