#BookReview EARTHED by REBECCA SCHILLER #PublicationDay #Earthed @EmmaFinnigan @eandtbooks @schillerrrrr



ABOUT THE BOOK


In 2017, Rebecca Schiller turned fantasy to reality and moved her family to a countryside smallholding for a life of sowing and growing. But as the first few years go by, and the ever-expanding list of tasks builds to a cacophony, it becomes clear that this is not going to be simple.

Another January comes in, and with it the threat of a mental health crisis, and so Rebecca turns to the garden where she has made her home, and to the women of this place’s past. Here, she stumbles on a wild space of imaginative leaps, where she begins to uncover the hidden layers of her plot’s history – and of herself.

The ground under Rebecca’s boots offers hard lessons as the seasons shift, delivering unflinching glimpses of damage done to peoples and the planet and regular defeats in her battle with the slugs.

Yet as the New Year returns, carrying a life-changing diagnosis and then a global pandemic, Rebecca begins to move forwards with hope: the small holding has become her anchor, her teacher and her family’s shelter. Because when we find ourselves in an unknown land, we all need something small to hold on to and a way to keep ourselves earthed.


PUBLISHED BY ELLIOT & THOMPSON


PURCHASE LINKS


Amazon

hive.co.uk

blackwell’s


MY REVIEW


I found this to be an utterly absorbing and eye opening memoir that looks at the mental health struggles of the author, Rebecca Schiller, as she shares the highs, and many lows!, of dealing with life and how pinning your hopes on a move to the countryside to solve your problems isn’t always the miracle cure that you may hope it will be!

I think we’ve all seen many mental health insights over the past year or so, where someone has changed their way of life and it was a fix for so much in their lives, whereas Rebecca shows the reality with her brutal honesty of while living in the countryside with your own smallholding has many benefits – check out her instagram page for the cutest goat content!! – the reality of family life and the hard work involved takes its’ toll, especially if you are struggling with your mental health in the first place.

When she and her family moved to Kent in 2017 they were full of high hopes and plans for their new lives, and the author shares her experiences of while she was hoping for a slightly slower pace of life in the country, that didn’t work out as planned and the negatives in life continued to outweigh the positives.

This book goes into detail about the strain her struggles put on her marriage, and while she tried to remain positive for her children, it was they who were the ones to point out the positives in the little things in life that would help her to see the good in each day, even when the world to her seemed very black.

She also throws herself into researching the house they moved in to and the people who have lived there before and that was a great distraction for her, and fascinating to learn about, and also made her look more into herself and try and find out what was causing these dips in her mood and outlook and why she kept struggling. It really does open your eyes to the variety of mental health struggles we all face.

This is a book that deals in reality and the honesty in her writing and experiences really does shine through. It was enlightening to read a book where her life didn’t change overnight because she moved to the country, but it made her realise that she couldn’t paper over the cracks anymore and needed to be more pro-active in her search to be happier and find a way to keep living with a more balanced outlook.

★★★★★

My thanks to Emma Finnigan for the advanced reader copy in return for a fair and honest review.

The Light in the Dark: A Winter Journal by Horatio Clare #BookReview #Repost @eandtbooks

 

THE LIGHT IN THE DARK: A WINTER JOURNAL

Published by  – Elliot & Thompson

Paperback release – 3rd October 2019

About the book

A moving winter diary that reveals the healing power of the natural world

• An evocative exploration of the season, beautifully designed.

• Horatio Clare is a multiple award-winning memoirist, nature and travel writer.

• Combines scintillating nature writing with a moving personal narrative, touching on issues of winter depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder.

• For readers of The Outrun by Amy Liptrot and the Seasons series by Melissa Harrison.

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.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK

hive.co.uk

About the author

Horatio Clare is a critically acclaimed author and journalist. His first book, Running for the Hills: A Family Story, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His second book, Truant is ‘a stunningly-written memoir’, according to the Irish Times. A Single Swallow: Following an Epic Journey from South Africa to South Wales, was shortlisted for the Dolman Travel Book of the Year; Down to the Sea in Ships: Of Ageless Oceans and Modern Men won the Stanford-Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2015. Horatio’s first book for children, Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot, won the Branford Boase Award 2016 for best debut children’s book. He lives in West Yorkshire. 

Twitter @HoratioClare

MY REVIEW

It’s that time of year again! The time when we all want to hibernate thanks to the longer, darker evenings and freezing cold mornings, and this book lets you know that you’re not alone in feeling that way! The author has used this book to share his thoughts on how this time of year makes him feel, along with exploring the power that nature has of keeping you looking forward, despite those days when all seems bleak and hopeless.  

It’s a simple concept but the style of writing and honesty that the author shares allows you to see the world through his eyes over the autumn and winter months that he has come to dread so much, and how his attitude to winter has changed over the years.  This is his journal of all that he sees mixed alongside the trivialities of real life and that what makes this a book that you can connect with.  

It’s a beautifully written book that struck a chord with me on many occasions.  The process of seeing the landscape and wildlife change from month to month and seeing how that affects his mood, and how just a simple task of writing a shopping list often became too much when his mind becomes too dark for him to be able to function on a daily basis.

Alongside the sights and sounds of nature, there are also many fascinating facts about S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) and he also explores the strength that his family give him when he’s suffering alongside useful tips that he’s found in ways of distracting his mind, and realising that he can’t do it all by himself and it’s ok to ask for help.  With the topic of mental health so prevalent in society today, this is a book that can help a reader engage with their own feelings and find help if needed – be that by talking to somebody or just taking time to notice the small things in life.  

I found this to be such an insightful and thought provoking book and it is definitely one of those reads that gives you lots to think about and helps to lighten up the darkness of Winter.