Saturday, September 7, 2013
Review: The Year of Magical Thinking
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I'm not sure why I've been reading books about death, but somehow I've been finding myself reading about 2 things: women who are left single while pregnant and those who are left single by their husband's death. I suppose this could show a fear of abandonment, but since I'm already single, it seems an odd trend to say the least. "The Year of Magical Thinking" is along the lines of widowhood, not pregnancy. It's about Joan Didion's year following her husband's death.
While I've never had anyone really close to me die, I can still understand some of the obsession she goes through in this process after losing someone. She begins methodically going over every last moment and every conversation looking for a way to change the reality that has already happened. If she could just understand how her husband died of a heart attack, perhaps she could prevent it-never mind the fact that it's already happened.
She also goes through the pain of trying to move on, but feeling guilty if she is enjoying herself. It's a natural feeling, and yet, does her not enjoying life bring her deceased husband any closer to feeling joy once again?
If you've ever wondered what it's like to lose someone after a long marriage, this is probably one of the few books that tries to show exactly the things being thought without trying to give a happy ending or a false sense of everything happens for the best. This isn't to say it's a depressing book-it wasn't. It was a fast read that gives a glimpse into the odd way we try to deal with death, even when we act like everything is as it always was.
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