Blue Nights – Joan Didion

A book that I found while waiting for Slouching toward Bethlehem to become available at the library. I picked this one up and went through it at a gulp. I always forget how breathtakingly surgical and precise Didion’s writing is, how diligently she avoids the sentimental. But this is a remembering of her recently-passed daughter, Quintana, of her daughter’s childhood and an honest and unflinching account of her experience as a parent. The sentiment, when it comes, crashes like a hammer blow.

The title comes from the phenomenon of the lengthening blue light of late summer, soaking it in as long as it lasts, and the noticing when it begins to shorten and disappear as autumn comes on. I read the book in late August as that thing was happening. It also touches on the fading of memories, and the prospect of the end of one’s own life. A worthwhile read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.