Joan Didion's writing is always elegant, haunting and clever, which is true, as ever in Blue Nights. Even so, this memoir about her daughter's death is no Year of Magical Thinking (Didion's memoir about losing her husband, around the same time).
For me the strongest part of the book is where Didion confronts aging and how it feels to be inside a body that behaves inexplicably, that can't be dressed the same way as it once was and that leaves her vulnerable to condescending health care professionals and their lazy assumptions. I sympathize with the 75-year-old (now) childless widow not knowing who to put as an emergency contact. That question was a challenging one for me when I was single. Unlike Didion, I could have listed my parents, but that seemed shameful.
Speaking of shame, Didion doesn't acquit herself well on the question of privilege:
Can't privilege and "bone stupidity" be the same thing?