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Living in the dark.

Girl in the Dark: A Memoir - Anna Lyndsey

This is the memoir of a young woman who became so allergic to light that she was forced to live large parts of her life in a darkened room, emerging at dusk to go for a walk or attempt any sort of normality. What started out as a sensitivity to the light emitted by her computer screen, gradually developed into a severe reaction to all forms of light, apparently with no cure. At one point I felt that the treatment she received had actually aggravated her condition, though she didn't say exactly that. When in the light her skin would burn with such severe pain that could take days to subside.

Throughout these trials she was supported by her boyfriend, Pete, who stuck by her and eventually married her, even after the first marriage ceremony had had to be cancelled due to the worsening of her condition. He was really a genuine, sympathetic guy who gave her a reason to go on.

During the bad periods she was dependent on audio-books, which was kind of appropriate as I was listening to this on Audible myself. I totally related to her observation that "When I finish a book, I find I cannot start another one immediately. Each book needs time to settle in my mind, to be digested like a meal of many courses. It seems disrespectful to the characters to move on too quickly — after all, I have spent hours in their company, learnt their histories, looked on at significant moments of their lives."

One thing I didn't enjoy about this memoir was the involved description of word games, which I couldn't gloss over as it was being narrated, but otherwise Anna's condition and her battle to deal with it, did hold my attention; I can't imagine how awful it would be to have to live your whole life in the dark and I hope she eventually manages to find a cure.