Jaime's Reviews > The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
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's review
Oct 19, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: 2009, nf_memoir, non-fiction

I didn’t dislike this book, but I didn’t really get anything out of it either. It is a difficult subject matter – no one wants to think about their closest loved ones dying – but what makes Didion’s grief any different than anyone else’s? There isn’t even any sort of insight into how one should deal with their grief and move on (or at least forward), because Didion didn’t deal with it, she wallowed in it, using it as an excuse to essentially check out of life. The only thing I found even a little insightful was at the beginning, when she talks about grief being a mental illness rather than some temporary condition. I think the book might have been more interesting if it had been written later and was about both the death of her husband and her daughter (who did eventually pass away in 2005).

As a side note, this was the selection for my book club this month, and it was universally disliked. Most of the women in the group are over 50, and I think their general thought was "Oh, just get over it already!"

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