Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Joan Didion 2

I was rather disappointed with this book. Obviously, much sympathy has to be given to Joan Didion as she finds herself in such an appalling situation. The writing however, did not engage me more than a medical case-study. One important fact emerged was that in a grief such as this, the body and mind undergo changes to the chemical and hormonal balance and take time to recover. I felt most touched when she realised that she was still hopeful that her husband could be saved until he had been taken to hospital and only after some time she was told he had died when the paramedics were obviously fully aware that he died in the home. It must have been painful when she remembered this. Would she have preferred to have been told the truth earlier?

I agree with Emily that I was at a disadvantage as I did not really know who Joan Didion and her husband were, so lacked a back story to enable me to relate to her more fully. Vanessa Redgrave has just finished a one woman performance with this at the National and I am intrigued to find out how she approached it. I think this book could be helpful to people also bereaved.