Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

The Year of Magical Thinking

Posted by nliakos on July 15, 2006

by Joan Didion, Knopf 2005.

This is a book about grieving.  It is a reminder that the longer we live, the more likely it becomes that we will lose someone we love, and that we cannot prevent these losses. It reminds us that grief can “un-do” us in a very real way, and that we cannot always control our behavior or our thoughts.

Joan Didion’s husband died very suddenly, five days after their daughter became gravely ill.  Didion had to deal with her husband’s death even as she was dealing with the possibility that she might also lose her only child.  Months later, when her daughter was finally out of danger, she still had to deal with her unresolved grief over her husband.  The book chronicles the first year following her husband’s death.  At the end of the year, she is still not ready to “move on,” as the culture tells us we should be able to do.  “I look for resolution and find none.”

A fast read, one that makes you think.  “You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends.”  It can happen to any of us.  But until it does, we maintain our denial.

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