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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Best Seller

“Every bit as beautiful and healing as the season itself.... This is truly a beautiful book.” (Elizabeth Gilbert)

"Proves that there is grace in letting go, stepping back and giving yourself time to repair in the dark.... May is a clear-eyed observer and her language is steady, honest and accurate - capturing the sense, the beauty and the latent power of our resting landscapes." (Wall Street Journal)

"May writes beautifully.... A contemplative, hopeful, consoling book.” (NPR)

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 breakup, 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.

©2020 Katherine May (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Wintering

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Enjoyed.

Loved the narrator especially. Like listening to poetry. Would recommend this read, but stay present while listening, or you'll miss so many amazing words of wisdom

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I look forward to my next time of Wintering!

I was pleased when I heard the author speaking of her book on NPR one day back in Nov/Dec 2020. I made it a point to see if Audible had the book, and there it was so I ordered it. Listened to it right away over a period of about a week. I listened to it as I walked every day. This book was written to help you recognize when you are in the wintering phases of your life, and it can happen often, or once in awhile. That it was published in 2020 smack in the middle of the pandemic seemed serendipitous. Instead of saying I was in a period of depression back in 1993, I can now say I was experiencing a time of wintering. What a restful, comfortable word for a time of sadness. Wintering is a positive way to look at a time that seems otherwise dark. I had often described it as "hibernation", because that's what it feels like when I withdraw to my desk and start writing. I will keep this book. I may even buy the hardback version just because it would be a perfect addition to my books of wisdom. I recommend to this anyone who is uncomfortable with self-retreats. May tells us it's okay to be sad. She tells us how to experience it in a healthy, restful, and forgiving way, with many references to nature, and personal stories of her own wintering journey. The narrator did an excellent job reading Katherine May's book, with a lovely British accent. I thoroughly enjoyed this audible book and will listen to it again when I feel a "Wintering" time approaching. I will embrace it.

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Everything I needed

Came across this book by recommendation and could not put it down. I'm ready to listen to it all over again and going to purchase it as a gift for a few folks.

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Insightful and Beautiful!

I really enjoyed listening to Rebecca Lee's narration of this book. I listened to it in two days straight. Katherine May is a really thoughtful storyteller. I have more appreciation of winter. At first, I thought it was just about the weather season, but turned out she also referred to wintering as those times in our life when the going gets tough. I highly recommend this book if you have a tough relationship with the winter cold, the book will keep you warm and fuzzy inside.

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Celebrate Wintering

Perfect match for me at the perfect time... I didn't realize I was in the midst of an emotional "Wintering" myself. A must for me, going to bring my youth traditions with celebrating the seasons: of wardrobe switching, (we do canning every summer) this year we will find something to have special for Christmas Eve and to appreciate the routine of nestling in for the long winter nights.

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Fantastic

I don’t know if I would call this cynical optimism or joyful pessimism but I thoroughly enjoyed it. An eye opening take on depression, enduring struggle, and and insight the comes from being in the muck.

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Incredibly impactful

Im so thankful to have come across this audio book. I never could have expected just how important this book would be but its given me a fresh perspective and new ways to talk about and approach my own winter. I found it deeply moving to hear the way Katherine speaks about her winters and the stories she shared of others winter. It has helped me embrace my own.

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Wonderful Book!

This book is a gem, as I am experiencing my first wintering, I just moved to Idaho, you can really feel and learn from the art of wintering.

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Comforting Truth

This book was profoundly moving in its grounding of our human despair in the reality of nature’s cycles. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s exploration of many aspects of enduring a dark and cold season. Much appreciation from this reader!

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Fabulous

I just finished and I’m going to start all over again. What a soothing look at crisis. I want everyone I know to read it. The audible voice actor was lovely too.