The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking

Book - 2005
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[In this book, the author] 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 ... 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." -Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Knopf, 2005
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781400043149
140004314X
9781400078431
Branch Call Number: 813x DIDIO DIDIO
Characteristics: 227 pages ; 21 cm

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diana_jimenez0805
Mar 04, 2019

This book gives you a different perspective of death. Joan Didion explains the grief she went through when her husband died. She researched death and grief to try and overcome the death of her husband. She views death differently after all her researched and her own personal grief. She gives advice on how to go through grief and how to understand death as a natural thing that hurts but you could overcome.

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Dictionary1
Oct 25, 2018

I did not like this book at all. I had to force myself to keep reading and then started skimming and finally just put it away. If you like alot of name dropping (she and her husband were involved with Hollywood people) than you will love this book. Plus, she talked more about that life then being a widow. A wonderful book to read about a widower is The Widowers Notebook by Jonathan Sandleter.

k
KMJ_
Apr 08, 2018

This is a beautifully written, depressing book. Joan Didion describes the year in her life her husband dies and her daughter is struck by two different health emergencies. Although a short read, this book is heart-wrenching and raw.

r
RoyalSemaphore
Jan 30, 2018

We have been given a gift in the form of a narrative of what life is life in grief, then mourning. The pages turn quickly; the feelings are authentic and poignant.

Cynthia_N Aug 24, 2017

Beautifully written. Didion ends the year with her daughter in a medically induced coma and her husband having a fatal heart attack while eating dinner. The book chronicles her first year of grief.

ArapahoeHollyR Jul 25, 2017

A moving, exceptionally-well written account of unthinkable loss.

xaipe Mar 02, 2016

For anyone who has suffered the death of someone deeply loved - parent, partner, child, this is a deeply moving and personal account of how one brilliant writer dealt with her personal tragedy.

WVMLStaffPicks Jan 24, 2015

Didion turns the subject of this memoir -- the year following her husband's death and her adult daughter's serious illness, into what a New York Times reviewer described as a page-turner. Her painful reaction to these events leads to flashbacks from her forty years of marriage and an unfulfillable quest to recover the past. Didion also looks to other authors such as Thomas Mann, C.S. Lewis, Matthew Arnold for solace. An honest look at grief, marriage and motherhood.

t
Terre9
Jan 28, 2014

I also found the book hard to put down. I also have been told I appear to have it all together when internally I feel far from whole. I found Joan Didion's insights thoughtful, as they were thought provoking.

m
miaone
Mar 06, 2013

A gripping book. I found it un-putdownable. Only someone insensitive and clueless about grief could call it self-absorbed. I've recommended it to many friends, and they've also found it absorbing. The phenomenon of thinking that the lost person will somehow come back is known to many of us. Didion has lived a long and fascinating life, and she has an ability to write about her life, and life itself, in a way that I find irresistible. I highly recommend this book to conscious readers who seek depth of understanding.

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Terre9
Jan 28, 2014

We are imperfect mortal beings aware of that mortality even as we push it away, failed by our very complication, so wired that when we mourn our losses we also mourn, for better or worse, ourselves. As we were. As we are no longer. As we will one day not be at all.

t
Terre9
Jan 28, 2014

Marriage is memory, marriage is time...it is also paradoxically the denial of time. For forty years I saw myself through John's eyes, I did not age.

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imaginethat
Feb 10, 2011

imaginethat thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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