Thursday, March 12, 2009
Review: The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Title: The Year of Magical Thinking
Author: Joan Didion
Paperback: 240 pages
Authors Joan Didion and John Dunne had been married for 40 years. They had just returned home from visiting their comatose daughter in a nearby hospital when John suddenly died of a heart attack. This moving memoir chronicles Didion's life the year following her husband's death (including her involvement in the care of her daughter, Quintana, who continued to struggle with illness). Didion candidly exposes her raw feelings of loss, discusses her stages of grief, and tries to grasp the terrible events that had befallen her. For me, some of her most poignant words are found on the first page: "Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant." Anyone who has experienced the loss or severe illness of a loved one, whether expected or unexpected, knows there is a learned truth in those statements. Recommended for readers of Didion or Dunne and those who are exploring the subject of grief.
Note: After reading this book, I became curious as to what happened to Quintana. I found my answer in this New York Magazine article.