Book Style: GIRL IN THE DARK by Anna Lyndsey

Girl in the Dark - Book Style

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This book. Just, ugh. It’s so hard to put into words the amount of feels this memoir caused me to have. Not since I picked up Emma Donoghue’s Room have I felt so physically uncomfortable and claustrophobic while still feeling so overwhelmingly compelled to keep reading. Room was fiction, though. Girl in the Dark is a true story.

Anna Lyndsey (a pseudonym) found herself abruptly removed from her stable life as a British civil servant when a mystery illness grips first her face, then her entire body. She finds herself horrifically allergic to light. What starts as a sensitivity to her computer monitor develops, with frightening rapidity, to an intolerance to all artificial sources of illumination. Just when she has come to terms with finding a non-office bound vocation, the hammer comes down when the disease escalates yet again to include an intolerance to all natural light. Isolated in a comprehensively blacked out room, unable to travel to see physicians, and incapable of independent living is a scenario that would cripple most. Lyndsey has managed to chronicle her life in the dark through quick sections that cover her relationship, the word games she develops to pass the time, her frustrations with her disease, and the ingenuity and determination she and her husband develop to overcome the odds. This is a book to make you appreciate just how good you’ve got it.

Lyndsey couldn’t wear this outfit during the height of her illness. There’s simply not enough protection. There are, however, more practical interpretations of many of her required elements: layers, heavy fabrics, long sleeves, gloves, and an oversized hat (which is made of felt, apparently the most light blocking fabric available). The tights have a message of love- perfect since her and Pete’s love story anchors this tale. That would also be why I included the wedding ring. “I Hate the Sun” earrings add a bit of cheeky humor while “Fade to Black” nail lacquer tackles the beast head on. I was determined to include a watch, since Lyndsey often remarks that time takes on new meaning when you are as isolated as she must often be. The final touch is the stunning “Constellation” opal necklace, for the stars that are the first light Lyndsey gets back.

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