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The Year of Magical Thinking
The Year of Magical Thinking
Author: Joan Didion
From one of America?s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage?and a life, in good times and bad?that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child. — Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and...  more
ISBN-13: 9781400078431
ISBN-10: 1400078431
Publication Date: 2/13/2007
Pages: 240
Rating:
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 260

3.3 stars, based on 260 ratings
Publisher: Vintage
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 129 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 19
In the weeks and months following the death of a loved one, I experienced emotions and disorientation that seemed so foreign to me. I would walk through the grocery store -- not exactly in a daze, but it was as if the light were different, or perhaps it was the quality of the sound. I was not connected. Looking at the people around me as they hefted a melon or checked the expiration date on a gallon of Clover milk, it struck me that perhaps half the people there had experienced what I was experiencing right then, and I had never known. I'd never really even suspected.

Early on in my grieving process, an old friend got in touch and told me that after his parents had died (within two weeks of each other) it had taken him two years to fully recover. As I stumbled forward, letting bills go past due just because I couldn't face anything with a deadline, missing appointments, his few words became my lifeline, the kindest thing anyone could have said to me. Partly, I suppose, it was the promise that this, too, would pass. But mostly it was the permission to grieve. I needed permission to grieve.

Back on track now some years later, reading Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, I think, "She is offering not so much an explanation, but a clear description that I had not found anywhere else, and she is offering permission."
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
I don't really know if I liked this book or not. Here's my problem - I liked the story and the uplifting nature of it. I liked what she had to say. I liked that she was honest about herself. I didn't like HOW she wrote. Very flowery, strewn with lines of poetry and clips from other books. But... it made me think. I've only ever lost grandparents. I've never lost a parent, a child, or a partner. What would my life be like, how would I feel, would I feel "mudgy" for that first year? What is her life like now? Did the fog lift for her? Would it lift for me. Everyone that knows me knows that I'm a very independent person. "I don't need no man". But. My husband means the world to me. I've been married to him for 14 years, we've worked together for the past 2 years. I genuinely like to be around him. As she opens her book, "Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant." How very true, and sad at the same time. I don't think about it often, but I did leave this book wondering how I would cope if something were to happen to my own husband. I don't know that I would have the ability to write about it. For that, my hat goes off to the author. She did a good job of bringing me into her world. Worth a read.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 95 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I really enjoyed this heartfelt novel about the author's coming to terms with her husband's untimely death. At first I thought she was repeating herself a bit but once you get to the end you realize she is taking you on her journey of mourning and her dealings with each stage of grief. (Wording is not quite right, but i hope you get the gist). I recommend this book definitely.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
This is one of my books I will never swap! It is so amazing - tragically written. You actually feel her confusion during her year of grief. Didion is an amazing writer. I highly recommend this book!
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on + 132 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Now I understand how I got through the year of teaching that began the day after my younger son's memorial service. It is indeed magical thinking, magically written.
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reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on
When I read this book I actually felt how stunned she was and I am amazed that she was able to transmit to someone who has not lost a spouse or child how surreal life becomes. As each day she endured the reality of waking up without that person ever again.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on
Invaluable resource for anyone who has recently lost a loved one.
Great book. Highly recommended.
reviewed The Year of Magical Thinking on
Joan Didion is truly a magical writer that takes you on a journey in her use of language. For me, as a new widow, I can truly identify with some of the things that Joan describes in her book, her longing to see her husband again, her rationalization of her own self-pity, living over events that have happened in the past, she truly describes her grief in a palpable way. The book was hard to put down. She makes the written language an art.

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