Sunday, July 25, 2010

Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom

I haven't been put off simply because my last foray was just plain awful!  I picked up Amy Bloom's newest edition of short stories and I wasn't disappointed at all.

This collection of short stories looks at a few different families who must deal with certain common American themes: they often must deal with death, aging, love (or the lack of it) and children moving away.  But the one common silver thread in all of these stories is strength: strength to leave or stay, to stand up for what you believe is the right thing to do. Of all the families that she focussed on, my favorite was about Julia, a white woman, who marries Lionel, a black musician with a son from a previous marriage. I loved following this family through all of its tumultuous events.

Amy Bloom is an extraordinary writer. She manages to hook you with the very first words that she writes and manages to keep you interested throughout her entire story.  The words that she uses were obviously carefully considered and the joy that I got out of them were immeasurable.  That sort of care goes a long way. I wouldn't go into this expecting a completely happy picture of marriage or love or relationships, however. This is a somewhat bittersweet and sometimes unhappy view of the institution.

Overall though, wonderful!

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