ISBN #: 978-1400078431
Page Count: 227
Copyright: February 13, 2007
Publisher: Vintage; 1st Thus. edition
(Taken from Amazon)
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 marriage - and a life, in good times and bad - that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.
(Copied with her permission from her personal blog, Grown Up Book Reports)
But it’s also because I’m just not sure how to write about this book.
This is my first time reading Joan Didion although her name is certainly legen – wait for it – dary. (Sorry, I just started watching “How I Met Your Mother” on Netflix due to not being about to do much else with just one functioning hand.) And probably, this was not the appropriate piece of her work to begin with, as it is an autobiographical piece dealing with the death of her husband, John Dunne, who passed of a massive heart attack in 2003. Her account of the year following his death travels back and forth between memory and current grief. It is heart wrenching at times, and at other times beautiful and a true testament to strong marriages, soul mates, and someone who just makes you feel complete.
Certainly her writing is masterful, calling to mind famous quotes on death, on grief. And her writing brings her down to a human level – she kept his shoes! Because she believed that he might come back. The denial that someone is truly gone – it’s a very real feeling that many have experienced with the loss of a loved one, especially if the loss was unexpected.
Reading about death and grief isn’t exactly my idea of a fun Saturday afternoon read, but I sped through this book, simply because Didion’s writing is so compelling. I didn’t mind the morose topic. It may be something I come back to when I experience a deep loss of my own (hopefully not anytime soon). And I will definitely be adding more of her work to my must-read list. Maybe even some of her late husband’s work, as well.