I just finished reading this month's book group selection, Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking. It chronicles Didion's first year as a widow, during which her daughter was also seriously ill. Didion objectively recounts a journey into paralyzing grief as she tries to cope with losing her husband of forty years and the prospect of losing her daughter. It combines her raw emotions of loss with the clarity of hindsight into her marriage. Her speculation of whether he had premonitions of his own death is intertwined with instances which she terms "the vortex"- the tendency of routine sights to trigger a cascade of memories. It was beautiful, and heartbreaking. Stunning with its nakedness and at times I laughed out loud as she admits to the absurdity of her thoughts during that horrific year. It was the absolute wrong book to read days before leaving my husband for the summer.