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Why This Book Matters:

The Year of Magical Thinking is a memoir detailing the effects of grief and loss on Joan Didion’s personal life.

The Big Takeaways:

  1. Joan experienced loss in a way that was normal yet felt strange.
    1. If Her daughter had been hospitalized with pneumonia, and her husband suffered cardiac arrest.
  2. Although her husband had just died, Joan found a way to recover her agency.
    1. She considered getting both her husband and daughter in the same hospital.
  3. The memories Joan carried of her husband and their marriage played a significant role in her grief.
    1. She tried to carry out the memories on her own but was not always successful.
  4. Joan eventually entered denial about the death of her husband, John.
    1. She started considering the “What if’s?” and found herself unable to accept his death.
  5. Sometimes life does not have happy endings for our loved ones, but we must keep moving forward.
    1. The only way to move on is to let go.

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