Joan Didion is a writer I have enjoyed for many years. Her writing style is very direct and clear, and I think of Hemingway and Northern California’s influence on her. I did not plan to read this book as I knew that it was focused on the death of her daughter and it is not a topic that normally interests me since it tends to be very personal and often preachy. Didion writes well in this book and gives us a poetic view of her world in her seventies with many flashbacks to the 70s. She is both poetic and obsessive in her expression and it works well. She attempts to be inclusive with the reader and I suppose that works as well. She is also a major name dropper – she plays both sides of this – just a poor girl from Sacramento and a constant hobnobber with movie stars and famous people. Joan has a very special blend of a sophisticated writer and a girl from California with a natural take on things.