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Reviews of In Love by Amy Bloom

In Love

A Memoir of Love and Loss

by Amy Bloom

In Love by Amy Bloom X
In Love by Amy Bloom
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  • First Published:
    Mar 2022, 240 pages

    Paperback:
    Feb 2023, 240 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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About this Book

Book Summary

Winner of the 2022 BookBrowse Nonfiction Award

This powerful memoir by New York Times bestselling author Amy Bloom is an illuminating story of two people whose love and shared life experiences led them to find a courageous way to part - and of a woman's struggle to go forward in the face of loss.

Amy Bloom began to notice changes in her husband, Brian: He retired early from a new job he loved; he withdrew from close friendships; he talked mostly about the past. Suddenly, it seemed there was a glass wall between them, and their long walks and talks stopped. Their world was altered forever when an MRI confirmed what they could no longer ignore: Brian had Alzheimer's disease.

Forced to confront the truth of the diagnosis and its impact on the future he had envisioned, Brian was determined to die on his feet, not live on his knees. Supporting each other in their last journey together, Brian and Amy made the unimaginably difficult and painful decision to go to Dignitas, an organization based in Switzerland that empowers a person to end their own life with dignity and peace.

In this heartbreaking and surprising memoir, Bloom sheds light on a part of life we so often shy away from discussing—its ending. Written in Bloom's captivating, insightful voice and with her trademark wit and candor, In Love is an unforgettable portrait of a beautiful marriage, and a boundary-defying love.

Excerpt
In Love

Sunday, January 26, 2020, Zurich, Switzerland

This trip to Zurich is a new, not quite normal version of something Brian and I love: traveling. Road trip, train ride, ferry ride, airplane anywhere. We like all travel and most shopping, and this trip to Zurich has all the accoutrements of our other trips and is also nothing like anything we've ever done. As we usually do, we take a car service to the airport so we can be fancy and also avoid the park-and-schlep, and even before Brian had Alzheimer's, our combined lack of direction adds twenty minutes to all transportation transitions. We have a restaurant meal before our 6 p.m. departure. I buy a stick of lipstick and a small tube of hand cream; Brian buys some candy. We share gum. We share a bottle of water.

On the plane, we enjoy the settling in, the attention of the flight attendants, who already like us because Brian is mindful about his size and doesn't swing his arm into someone else's drink and he expresses ...

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    2022

Reviews

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It seems a bit callous to critique such a personal narrative, but I felt that for the most part, the work lacked emotional depth. I found it an informative and, above all, an honest account, but to me, the author seemed to keep the subject at arm's length. Still, In Love is a fine addition to the genre of books that deal with the decline of a loved one. Those who enjoy memoirs will likely want to put this one on their list, and it's recommended for anyone interested in exploring death with dignity. Book groups in particular will find it offers many topics for discussion..continued

Full Review (676 words)

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(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).

Media Reviews

New York Times
Bloom has one of those warm, wised-up, tolerantly misanthropic New York voices, in the manner of Laurie Colwin and Sloane Crosley and Allegra Goodman and Nora Ephron, and an ability to deepen her tone at will...Part of what makes this book moving is Bloom's toughness. She's a mama bear, in the right ways. She doesn't go overboard in explaining her moral reasoning. She doesn't have to. Her title is her explanation.

Washington Post
[D]eeply stirring...As with all great books about dying, In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss does not terrorize with grim statistics and forewarnings but rather destigmatizes euthanasia and enriches the reader's life with urgency and gratitude. It renews those joys of being 'In Love' with the people around us — despite the numbing effects of routine and familiarity which so often cause happiness to lapse in middle age.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
[G]orgeously written...this shimmering love story and road map is must-read testimony. You will never forget this book, and if you do, let's hope someone close to you remembers.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Novelist Bloom looks back on the beauty and turmoil of accompanying her husband through the final days of his life in this deeply moving memoir...a stunning portrayal of how love can reveal itself in life's most difficult moments.

Library Journal
A memoir that will appeal to many readers as a study on grief, acceptance, relationships, and love. With her background in psychotherapy, Bloom provides clear and vivid insight on going on with life while accepting the loss of a loved one.

Author Blurb Alison Bechdel, author of Fun Home
In Love is a buoyant and entrancing memoir about one of the worst things that can happen to a couple. Bloom's unfiltered glimpse into a working marriage is both a touchingly besotted portrait of her husband and a wrenching account of his gradual retreat from her. Their resolute approach to his death yields a story pulsing with raw life.

Author Blurb Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club
I read In Love in one sitting on a long flight and a flight never went by so fast. I am full of admiration for this important memoir. The mastery of this book draws us in and delivers us, by the last page, changed.

Author Blurb Michael Cunningham, author of A Home at the End of the World
Reading this book is, purely and simply, a transcendent experience. In Love is a thrillingly beautiful, laser-eyed book about love, life, mortality, and, most remarkably, the ways in which no one of the three can be separated from the others. Prepare yourself to be heartbroken, expanded, unsettled, and filled with hope.

Reader Reviews

Anthony C.

An Honest Slice of Life
"In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss" by Amy Bloom tells the story of a couple who, when the husband develops Alzheimer's Disease, seek physician-assisted suicide to end his suffering. With this topic, many people feel strongly enough about ...   Read More
Begüm

An Interesting Book
I think that this book is a very interesting book with a lot of plot twists. It is a very good option if you want to calm down. It is written with a very good and beautiful english. The cover is also very beautiful. I‘m sure that this book fits in ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Dignitas and Death with Dignity

Dignitas logoIn her book In Love, Amy Bloom's husband, Brian Ameche, decides to end his life prematurely, before his Alzheimer's disease becomes too debilitating.

Being Americans, they first explored taking advantage of laws in the US allowing physician-assisted suicide, also known as death with dignity. This option first became available in Oregon in 1997, and has since become legal in 10 states and the District of Columbia. A 2018 Gallup poll indicates that 72% of Americans support allowing terminally ill individuals the choice to end their lives painlessly through physician-prescribed lethal medication.

The laws vary a little from state to state, but they generally have the same criteria. A person must be at least 18 years old, capable of ...

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