3.5 out of 5 stars
As I write this we and not far off the Winter Solstice, that day in the year when the night is at its longest in the northern hemisphere. It is also the day when the world pivots once again and the days will imperceptibly get longer from that day onwards. Unless you are living on the very fringes of Northern Europe, where your day’s and nights are pretty much six months long our entire genetic makeup is used to the sequence of day and night. Some hate the night, drawing on the connotations that it is a time when dark forces move and others love the way that the absence of light changes the perception f the world around us.
Tiffany Francis is one of those that revel in the night and this book is about her experiences in various nocturnal adventures that she undertook alone or with friends and her partner. The journey takes her to the far north of Europe where she experiences the polar night in Norway and watches the aurora dance in the sky. She floats down a river in the company of eels and goes birdwatching, or more accurately bird listening. This is not just about the real, there are chapters on Ghosts and the Wickerman, which while there weren’t scary, did convey that unease that you sometimes get.
The final chapter in the book is about sunrises, a reminder that the dark is just a temporary phase, a part of the natural cycle and there is no need to be afraid of it. I thought that this was an enjoyable book about various mini-adventures under the cover of darkness. Her writing is unpretentious and clear, but most of all she is enthusiastic about her subject and this comes through in every chapter of the book.