Monday, June 30, 2008

Book Review Monday

I picked up this book the other week after reading the first few paragraphs and not wanting to put it down. I remember when this book was written, Joan Didion was on the Today Show talking about her memoir and why she had written it. The story is about the sudden death of her husband, one evening shortly after Christmas. The book that follows is heartbreaking, wonderful, amazing and endearing. What follows is a love story of the most ordinary sense between two people and the daughter they raised. The memoir gives snippets of a life well lived, well travelled, overflowing with friends and experiences. It's a life most would only dream to have. However, I identified so much with the author. Having just lost my Uncle Dennis, and trying to cope with grief and grieving and loss, this book was a wonderful read. It basically puts loss into the most understandable of words - having no logic or reasoning, wanting that person to be back here and thinking they indeed will return. That loss carries on much longer than society allows us to grieve. This was a beautifully written memoir, one I highly recommend, even if you are not grieving. I think it helps to prepare you for what you may or may not go through. It has both clinical information taken out of books and papers as well as wonderful lines from poetry and literature. I could not put this book down and I did not want it to end. The glimpse inside other people's relationships and marriage was absolutely fascinating and very well written and described. And the loss she experienced, while beyond words, was very poignant and a telling memorial to her lost husband.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Thanks for writing about this. I found your blog while looking for a new memoir to read and this one sounds perfect!

I've just finished reading a memoir that is quite heartfelt and at times sad, but uplifting nonetheless - and it filled me with inspiration at the possibilities we have in life. It's called "What Peace There May Be" by Susanna Barlow. She grew in a household that practiced polygamy and the book documents her struggles to find herself, somewhere between family loyalty and her desire to escape what she knew to be wrong. I found it quite compelling and while it doesn't deal with the sort of lose that Joan's book deals with, it does share the focus on the loss of family and how important a part our families play in our lives. Anyway, just thought you might be interested.