Review

Where the God of Love Hangs Out: Fiction

by Amy Bloom

Amy Bloom is a great writer. Period. She, in this
reviewer’s opinion, is perfection. Every word is just right,
every character someone you could know. And one feels privileged
having been allowed to breach the forcefield of her
imagination.

WHERE THE GOD OF LOVE HANGS OUT is an often funny, always
awe-inspiring journey into the lives of very different American
families who experience the common traumas of life, such as aging
and death. Throughout the eras, we see these families growing up
and growing apart, falling in love, cheating, and learning to live
with --- and without --- one another. Every moment is authentic,
genuine and utterly unique. Bloom’s quiet mastery of her
craft takes us into the heart of a group of human beings who will
feel like members of your own family by the time the last page is
turned.

One such group is best friends Claire and William. William is an
overweight bon vivant with a penchant for cigars, comfort
foods and said best friend. Although they are married to kind,
attractive and doting people, their attraction to each other gets
the best of them, and they launch a full-fledged infidelity attack
during a late-night movie viewing. Their affair continues for some
time, despite both of them having what seems like very loving
marriages. Eventually, they extricate themselves from their
marriages and come together only to find out that happily
isn’t really ever after. Do they deserve what they get? Is
there any hope for a relationship created on lies and deception?
There are no judgments here, no aspersions cast --- Bloom just
offers the emotional parameters that define their choices and
allows the reader to make their own decisions about the
consequences.

This is just one of the stories in this book and perhaps the one
that will cause the reader less distress than any other. One such
tale, for example, concerning the truly shocking but understandably
emotional responses to death that brings a woman and her stepson
unnaturally close, has repercussions that last well beyond their
simple home life.

Bloom doesn’t pick her battles; rather, she presents
situations and allows the characters to play out their responses to
them in their own ways. None of them act in a manner most would
expect, and yet all of their actions make sense given the sensory
clues Bloom chooses to pepper throughout her stories.

WHERE THE GOD OF LOVE HANGS OUT has a beautiful Magritte-like
cover of cherries and a natural setting that shows storm clouds on
a horizon. From front cover to back, this collection of stories
will blow into your life and stay with you long after the literary
storm is over.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on January 24, 2011

Where the God of Love Hangs Out: Fiction
by Amy Bloom

  • Publication Date: January 11, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction, Short Stories
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0812977807
  • ISBN-13: 9780812977806