This book can be extremely comforting to anyone who lives through the death of a loved one. I can see from reading other reviews that some people don't get it; 3 years ago I wouldn't have either. When you're in "the twilight zone" of grief, you appear to be recovering from loss in a straight-forward, linear fashion--from the outside. Didion captures the jumbled emotions, guilt, irrational thought patterns, dreams, paralysis and flashbacks that she and others have lived through with the presence of mind of a gutsy, professional writer. Thanks, Joan, I'm not crazy after all.
I'm not sure if the original description of the book was misleading or if I selected it based on the positive national reviews, but I was not prepared for the book. I didn't finish it and perhaps I should have slogged to the end before commenting, but there didn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.
The narration was better with the remaster, but the original one just emphasized the true nature of the plot and characters. Does using a more mature tone change the real story? That is, a twisted young man preying on an even younger woman. As long as women the same age as Ana are lured into things like legal prostitution and are dominated by men physically and financially, this should be uncomfortable to hear, regardless of who reads it. Any woman who actually thinks this is "romance" needs counseling. And any man who reads this and convinces himself that the average healthy woman awaits their Christian Gray is mistaken.
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