The Year of Magical Thinking
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage–and a life, in good times and bad–that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.
Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later–the night before New Year’s Eve–the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.
This powerful book is Didion’ s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
A truly magical read
This is the first Didion book I have read and I look forward to reading more. While I knew the outcome for both John and Q (I had seen the documentary), I was riveted by her account of them. For me, her matter-of-fact writing style underscored the impossible task of describing such an immense loss and its aftermath. Much like parenthood, you have no idea what the death of a loved one is like until you experience it for yourself. Didion does a remarkable and brave job of bringing that experience to life for her reader.
Insightful but not enough storytelling...
While there were nuggets of wisdom that resonated with me and that I will take with me, this was not a story with a clear begging and end. It seemed more of a fact telling timeline devoid of the emotion that was so obviously left out. More of a clinical approach to death. I did not feel the warmth I should have felt at the loss of someone so near and dear to her life. Maybe that was her therapy....
A book that in less professional hands could have been tiresome. However this is written by a wonderfully gifted author that knows how to relate her very personal feelings to the reader without being maudlin. Brought back a lot of my own feelings from when my mother died. Easily read and easily relatable