This book, “girl in the dark”, is written by Anna Lyndsey, who is writing under a pen name. It is a memoir of a girl who is photo-sensitive, a condition that restricts her exposure to light…..any light! Daylight, flourescent light, street light, even TV light.
Anna describes her life and how her extreme sensitivity to light limits her to her bedroom, which has to be completely blacked out. Her skin feels like it is burning when exposed to light, even her computer screen at work, so she is forced to resign and remain confined to her room. She explains the reality of living this way, of trying to maintain relationships with family and friends, and the ultimate challenge of having a boyfriend. Everything Anna struggles with are things we all take for granted. Things like opening the curtains in the morning, going shopping and cooking dinner.
Anna’s sense of humour throughout the book really appealed to me. She describes games she plays in the dark to pass the time, both games to play alone, or with others. These quirky chapters show her coping mechanisms and attempts to remain connected to others and keep her mind and body active.
The patience of her boyfriend, Pete, was quite hard to believe. If this wasn’t a true story, I would really think the author was pulling my leg, but instead, I am amazed at his love for Anna and felt so relieved that she had him to lean on and support her.
This story doesn’t have a plot really. Not much happens but for some reason I was pretty sucked in! It was fascinating to read about a condition I had never heard of before and by the end of the book I could imagine what it would be like to have such an affliction. Anna wrote this book with a sense of humour, and at the same time, told her story warts and all.
Don’t read this book if you like car chases, senseless killing or erotic love affairs. But do read it if you would like to learn about photo-sensitivity or how a girl copes when something goes terribly wrong in her life and she may not ever recover.