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Publisher Description

National Bestseller

From one of America’s iconic writers, a stunning book of electric honesty and passion that explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage—and a life, in good times and bad—that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.

Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later—the night before New Year’s Eve—the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.

This powerful book is Didion’ s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.

Biographies & Memoirs
October 4
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

shelby Reads Alot ,

Slow Start but eventually couldn’t put it down!

This evoked several emotions and widen my perspectives. Meaningful read.

Long legion ,

Very relatable

A book that in less professional hands could have been tiresome. However this is written by a wonderfully gifted author that knows how to relate her very personal feelings to the reader without being maudlin. Brought back a lot of my own feelings from when my mother died. Easily read and easily relatable

KevinHNewton ,


Great insight on the grieving process. As someone who lost his mom less than a year ago I found myself connecting with almost everything she wrote.

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