Roxanne's Reviews > Blue Nights

Blue Nights by Joan Didion
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 31, 2012

it was ok
Read in May, 2012

Blue Nights was on my list of books to read and thank goodness it was a short book. This "memoir" by Joan Didion, written after the death of her husband and adopted daughter focuses primarily on Didion’s relationship with her daughter. In addition it contains childhood reflections along with Didion's thoughts on old age and mortality.

I don't remember if I read The Year of Magical Thinking or not, so my rating of this book is based on this book alone.

The first half of the book was good. All the while I felt like I was building up to something that was going to happen that was very bad and depressing. After finishing the book I can tell you I was very disappointed.

All Didion did over and over again was indirectly question what her life might have been like for her and her daughter if Didion and her husband did not adopt her. OK. We all ask ourselves those questions everyday about a multitude of issues. For some reason, I interpreted it that either Didion was sad for her daughter Quintana. Or, sad for Joan Didion. Didion never clearly explained to the reader so this may be the wrong conclusion completely. Who knows?

Didion has a hard time transitioning into her "senior" years. OK. Are you serious? Maybe for her it just all of a sudden hit her like a ton of bricks, but women get plenty heads up on this issue. Perimenopause/Menopause ring a bell? Didion was immune from any of this stuff?

Her husband died very unexpectedly and she is lonely without him. OK. Go to a support group for as long as you think you need to and then go for another year after that.

I don't mean to be so negative in this review, but I'm just frustrated with the poor construction of the book and how open-ended I felt it left me.

My gosh, this woman can afford therapy. Most people can't. Go and get some professional help.

I felt like this author just kept throwing things up in the air and they landed wherever the heck they landed. Reader figure out what it means. The narrative wanders at times and I had a hard time keeping my attention focused on the words on the page.

By far my favorite part of the book is when Didion is in physical therapy and does not realize her fellow patients are the New York Yankees performing physical therapy also.

Joan Didion has experienced what many people in life experience. It is not that I shy away from topics that are more of a "downer"; I am the opposite. I just didn't care for what I felt was more of a personal journal, not a book for the general public.


Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Blue Nights.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.