Sue's Reviews > Blue Nights

Blue Nights by Joan Didion
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Nov 09, 2011

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bookshelves: read-in-2011, suicide-and-or-grief, writing, ebook, memoir

A short memoir by a well known author who has suffered multiple losses within a short period of time. On December 30, 2003, while her adult daughter Quintana was in the hospital overcoming a life-threatening infection, her husband died from a sudden heart attack. Then on August 26, 2005, the proverbial "other shoe" dropped as her daughter, who suffered complications from the initial infection, died. In October, 2005, she published a moving memoir about her first loss, The Year of Magical Thinking - reviewed in this post. It is evident that writing Blue Nights helped Didion process her daughter's death. She asks many unanswerable questions. She thinks of other friends who have died. She reviews specific memories and ponders their significance. Why does she remember these and not others? She allows these memories to trigger others and so leads the reader down a meandering path of events that occur in real time, the recent past and the way, way past. She ponders aging and dying. A quick and moving read.

On a side note, this is the first book that I read on my new iPad and loved the experience. I like the large screen and the highlighting and note-taking capability, far superior to the Nook, which has now been given to my daughter.

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