Friday, February 8, 2008

The Year of Magical Thinking

I had wanted to read Joan Didion’s, "The Year of Magical Thinking” but I hesitated because I knew that it was about the death of her husband and the life threatening illness of her only child. I felt that it would be too sad and depressing to read. I finally made myself buy the book and I loved it! Joan Didion’s writing is superb. She has let the reader enter her world, from the day her husband, John Gregory Dunn, died of a “sudden, massive coronary event” and her only child, Quintana, lay unconscious in an intensive care unit, to the day a year later when she realizes that she had to, “go with the change”. It is a year that she chronicles with deep personal insight and beautiful prose. There is the suspension of reality and the magical thinking----------that he is going to reappear and everything will go back to “normal”. The relationship that the author details between her and her husband is so strong and the loss is so overwhelming for her . But, she is able to bring the reader into her life and to share her loss, her grief and her strength. It is a book that I recommend for not only the great writing but for the experience of living through the death of someone who is your life partner, your world, and somehow, eventually, relinquishing them, letting them go and living your life without them.

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