Friday, May 2, 2008

The Year Of Magical Thinking

When I saw a review of this book in some book-ish magazine, I had never read anything by Joan Didion. I had never even heard of her before, but the book sounded like something I really wanted to read. 

Now, at least a year later, I am so glad I finally got to it. This was an excellent book in many ways. The author writes with beautiful and heart-wrenching honesty about the year following her husband's sudden death. It is moving, it is lyrical, and I finished it very quickly because it was one of those books that I wanted to be reading every single spare second I had.

I would recommend this book to people who are mourning someone, especially someone close. Also to those who want to understand a little tiny fraction of what life must be like for those who lose one of their "nears and dears." To those who want to look death and grief in the face and learn from it and live with it. And to those who just want to read something lovely, sad, and stunning. 

Actually, now that I think of it, I might change my recommendation a little bit. It might be too hard for someone who has recently gone through a monumental loss to hear about someone else's experience. But then again, I don't know. Like everything else, that probably depends on the person and the individual circumstances. I certainly don't pretend to have an intimate understanding of this deep and personal and in-your-face kind of loss, and I thank God every day that I haven't been there yet. Maybe reading this book has helped prepare me for the fact that everyone will be there someday.

I really hope you like it as much as I did. It was great. 

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