I was first drawn to this book because of the title. Magical thinking is a developmental phase in childhood where basically children believe in what is not real. Fiction, at least the more fantastical type, is almost a way of telling off developmental psychologists who have determined that this thinking ends around the end of elementary school.
I had no idea what the novel was actually about. I had never read anything by Joan Didion. All I knew is that this book had won some awards and was suppose to be good.
What I found was one woman's story of coming to terms with a year that she can never forget. A year that she lost her husband and nearly lost her daughter as well. It is a story of tragedy and coming to terms with that tragedy and not coming to terms with that tragedy. The novel is raw and truthful and caused me to feel a type of pain that I had not previously known.
The writing was excellent. I now have Didion's works added to my to be read pile. I am interested in seeing how her style plays out in other topics. I was intrigued how she used phrases throughout the novel to tie points together or to drift back to other points. I was amazed how she wove in poetry, research, and a neurology textbook she picked up in a hospital gift shop. Didion must be a remarkable women.
I plan on reading the biography about her as well.
The only part of the book where I started getting lost was the ending. It didn't end. She just kept writing in a train of thought kind of way. Even the author addressed this - she didn't want it to end. If it ended then it would be over. Her husband would never be coming back. Even when she lost me she pulled me in further.
This site may contain affiliate links, these links refer back to products. They do not cost the consumer any additional money. They do help fund the blog. In addition, some books may be provided to the site for free in exchange for an honest review, others come from the library, others are obtained for free off Amazon, some come from my private purchase. Regardless of how the books were obtained all reviews are my honest opinion.