4.21.2010

45 Books (Does it count?)


Book 12



Does it count if I listened to it on audiobook? (All I'm looking for is one "yes" :) ) I've (as you know) had my hands full lately and reading hasn't been a top priority while everything I own is between the two apartments (no longer neither here nor there, but now, mostly (and annoyingly) here but still tied there). That being the case, I've switched to audiobook for my afternoon/evening commute(s)--mornings are for Morning Edition. 

In The Year of Magical Thinking, Didion shares her personal exploration, experience, and study of grief and bereavement after her husband's death in 2004 and daughter's hospitalization and induced coma in 2004-05.  Didion is a Christian, but her thoughts and insights into death and grief are not sanctimonious (thankfully). I found her repetition and use of key phrases "You're safe, I'm here," "More than even one more day," "Why do you always have to be right?" etc., very powerful as signifiers of the past text and as cohesive binds to all of the personal stories woven to create the particular version being told. I was quickly put-off by the name-dropping of all the people we knew, places we stayed and lived, and crazy adventures we constantly seemed to be having... but her emotional responses were honest and her reevaluations, reflections, and responses were poignant.

Having experienced loss in my own family, I found truth, similarities, and myself understanding (even if not empathizing) the place from which she was writing. I wasn't crazy about it, I wasn't disappointed by it. It's not a cry-your-eyes-out-sensation (which, after reading multiple reviews I found disappointed many, many people), but it comes from a sincere, reflective, and quiet place which jives with my personal taste for the subject matter. I would probably recommend it, without raving about it, if you asked my opinion on reading it...

2 comments:

Annalece said...

yes. yes. yes.

MaryPosa said...

As a mom of three toddlers, i must say most unabashedly YES!
If it weren't for audio books, I might go crazy.