The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Book Review - "The Year of Magical Thinking" by Joan Didion

This is a beautiful, beautiful book. I had read articles, reviews and essays by Didion, and had enjoyed her writing, but I had never had the opportunity to truly recognize just how good a writer she is.

This narrative of a cruel, intolerable year in the life of a wife and mother is, in fact, magical. It could have easily been - and no one could have blamed her if it had - a morbid, depressing, self-indulgent dirge. Instead we see how a strong, intelligent woman processes the unprocessable - her husband drops dead out of nowhere as her daughter lies in a coma at the beginning of a succession of improbably tragic circumstances.

Through clear, exact writing we go through what Didion went through as she tries to survive her husband's death and get through her daughter's illness. All this is interspersed with memories that flesh out the relationship between Didion and John Gregory Dunne - a life time of experiences that make up a 40 year marriage.

We see her work through her grief, her shock and her insistence in thinking herself through it.

I highly recommend this book to everyone, whether or not you've suffered the losses or experiences delineated in the book. This is not an easy read - emotionally or literally - it will challenge you, but I think it is one of the best books I've ever read.

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Blogger sari said...

i enjoyed this book as well, and you're right: it wasn't easy.

11:33 AM  
Blogger purplepassion said...

You know that I loved the book too. I told you it wouldn't be easy to read. It was way to easy to relate to so many of her moments.

8:44 AM  

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