From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan Didion examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old.
Blue Nights opens on July 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to Quintana’s wedding in New York seven years before. Today would be her wedding anniversary. This fact triggers vivid snapshots of Quintana’s childhood—in Malibu, in Brentwood, at school in Holmby Hills. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed, either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. “How could I have missed what was clearly there to be seen?” Finally, perhaps we all remain unknown to each other. Seamlessly woven in are incidents Didion sees as underscoring her own age, something she finds hard to acknowledge, much less accept.
Blue Nights—the long, light evening hours that signal the summer solstice, “the opposite of the dying of the brightness, but also its warning”—like The Year of Magical Thinking before it, is an iconic book of incisive and electric honesty, haunting and profoundly moving.
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Extremely moving memoir, well-narrated
- Doggy Bird
Didion makes you live in her skin
Joan Didion is the dominant character in the book. It is through her eyes that you see her daughter, her husband, parents and others of her circle. You feel as much as if you are in her skin as if it was a fictional tale with her being the fictional narrator.
Didion is a great writer. I am sure the book would be excellent in print form. Farr is a very good narrator. I was so sorry that the book was over.
I think it was the repetition, including the repitition of Quintana's remembered questions of her adoptive mother,
- D. Littman