Anna Lyndsey - Girl in the Dark

Review :

While not what I would term an "easy" or "light" read, Girl in the Dark was a quick read, and one of the few books (especially recently) I've given a 5 star rating. This was a book that grabbed me from the beginning, and the author made me feel all the emotions she was experiencing throughout the book - the true sign of a good memoir in my opinion. Anna Lyndsey takes you on a roller coaster ride from the deepest depths of despair due to living in COMPLETE and utter darkness and being confined to her home for years, to sublime joy at the slightest improvement, such as the ability to venture out after dark or simply enjoy a tiny crack of sunlight through a curtain.

In 2005, while working for the Department of Work and Pensions in London, Anna began to notice a burning and tingling sensation in her face when she sat in front of a computer. She was eventually diagnosed with an extremely rare form of light sensitivity known as photosensitive seborrhoeic dermatitis. Her skin then began to turn red and feel as if it was burning when she was around minimal light of any kind, especially fluorescent light or computer screens. She soon has to resign from her job and asks her then boyfriend, Pete, if she could move to his house outside London due to not knowing what else to do and being unable to cope on her own. He was agreeable, and so they began a life together, not knowing what effect her condition would actually have on their future.

Her condition continued to worsen and reached the point that she had to place film AND heavy curtains over the windows in her bedroom, as well as wear special clothing covering almost every inch of skin at all times. She cannot even venture into other rooms of her home for longer than a few minutes, and sometimes, if experiencing a particularly terrible flare-up, not at all. She described it to a physician as "It is like someone is holding a blowtorch in front of my face."

I honestly can't even imagine having to live life totally in the dark, and being unable to leave the house, as she has for years on end, and highly admire her for making the best of such a bleak situation. This book will definitely make you grateful for all the little things in life!


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