Thursday, February 24, 2011

Amy Bloom's Stories

I've heard so many great things about Amy Bloom's writing, so I was excited to get a taste of it for myself with the story collection Where the God of Love Hangs Out.

I was afraid I was going to be disappointed after the first series of four interconnected stories got me off to a slow start. I just didn't like or connect with anything about the characters in the grouping. Luckily, once I got past that, I ended up loving every other story in the collection. Bloom covers a lot of ground with the variety of characters she writes about- a man who spends his life being a cold and violent father, only to turn around once he becomes the charge of a Polish caretaker during his failing years; a girl whose roommate has been kidnapped and murdered; and, in another linked series of stories, a mother and stepson whose relationship is both disturbing and compelling. The common denominator among all of the pieces is that they dwell on sometimes unlikeable characters in often-times uncomfortable situations, but are so realistic and engrossing that it's impossible to look away.

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