Through the Dark Woods


Reviews and commendations

“One of the harsh, yet, surprisingly redemptive, human experiences many of us face is depression. No one wishes for it, and yet, strangely, after one has walked through the excruciating pain, one gives thanks for all the maturing grace it brings. Joanna Swinney has written of her experience in a way few have or can. She knows of what she speaks, both the horror of the darkness and the breaking through into light. At every turn of her story I could say, ‘yes, you are right – that is how it is!’ and, ‘yes, that is our hope’. Nothing I have read is as engaging, as well researched, as human as ‘Through The Dark Woods’. Thank you Jo”.

Darrell W. Johnson
Associate Professor of
Pastoral Theology
Regent College, Vancouver

Jo opens up the too often unmentionable topic of depression in an engaging, painfully honest, lively way, which allows us all insight into what depression means and how to respond-as well as what to avoid. Accessible and challenging to the Christian community at many different levels.

David Cook
Holmes Chair of Faith and Learning, Wheaton College
Fellow Green College Oxford

Jo writes about depression with the authority of someone who has experienced how bleak it can be to go through this particular dark wood. Her voice is authentic and compassionate as she reaches out to others who suffer and those who care for them.

Yet this is far from being a depressing book: on the contrary it is compellingly readable, in delicious bite-sized chunks – a real help when concentrating for more than a few minutes is a challenge. Jo has a lightness of touch without being flippant. Her sparkling humour shines through, and at times while reading I laughed out loud.

There is up to date science here, good theology and great story telling, together with down-to-earth practical tips for getting through the day.

This is a book which I warmly welcome. It’s a real gift to people with depression and their families and friends. It will also help professionals like me, as we can recommend this book with love and confidence to those who come to us for counsel.

Dr Maureen Wilkinson
Consultant Psychiatrist
Clinical Director, Adult Mental Health, Wirral