Thursday, November 17, 2011

Recommended Reading: BLUE NIGHTS

In this excellent, profoundly honest, book,

the very talented, powerful author,
Joan Didion,
 stunningly shares with her pain, thoughts and anguish over the loss of her beloved daughter, 
Quintana Roo.

Good review of this was written by author John Banville for the NY Times book review.

The book opens on June 26, 2010, as Didion thinks back to her daughter's wedding day seven years before, 
five years after her death. 
Remembering that it would have been Quintana Roo's anniversary, the promise evidenced that day causes the writer to reflect on her daughter's childhood, the questions asked and unasked, 
answered and unanswered. 
Things said eloquently, and the eloquence of things left unsaid. Further reflections are on her own childhood, her marriage, 
her parents, their deaths, her husband, 
John Gregory Dunne, 
and his untimely death from a heart attack two years before 
the loss of their daughter.
Questions I think most parents have, 
if they are brutally honest with themselves in their 
self reflections on the enormity of parenthood, 
pepper the book; the "what ifs." 
"What if I fail to take care of this baby?"
"What if this baby fails to thrive, 
what if this baby fails to love me?"
...and the unthinkable...
"What if I fail to love this baby?"
Didion also writes about coming to terms with her own aging and mortality, affected by time spent saying what would eventually prove to be good-byes to friends and family in ICUs on both coasts; time in hospital with her dying husband, and in and out of emergency and ICUs with Quintana Roo.
I won't spoil it for you by giving you the intimate details of how she came to parent and name the daughter she lost; 
I want you to read it for yourself.
I will tell you this:
the title refers to that time of day, 
"...when in certain latitudes...approaching and following
the summer solstice...when the twilights turn long and blue..."
"...The French called this time of day l'heure bleue..."

It's a good read, and, depending on how you do it,
quick if you just go through it,
a little longer if you self-reflect.

The Eagles
In A New York Minute

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