Cover Image: In Love

In Love

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Member Reviews

I loved this book--I am a fan of Amy Bloom's fiction in general--and I deep;ly admire the way the text delves into territory we don't often discuss. Bloom uses her flair for characterization here and brings us right into the world of the book, with vividly drawn portraits of characters.
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A memoir  of love and grief both deeply felt between Amy and her husband. A disease I’m very familiar with, so it was cathartic to read In Love.
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In Love by Amy Bloom should come with a case of tissues- and I mean that in the best way. Her memoir is an all-encompassing excavation of grief and love and what it means to say goodbye too soon. It was far and wrenching, and I could not put it down. In Love was the first time I read anything by Amy Bloom, and I absolutely have to rectify that by diving into her essays and other books. Highly recommend!
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Full disclosure.: months ago, my husband passed away.  My role as caregiver was hard, unappreciated, confusing, and ultimately devastating because the best I could do was tell my husband that it was alright to die.  So, I read Amy Bloom's book about the death of her husband's death from Alzheimer's , in part, to validate my own experience.

Bloom, and Her husband, Brian, were second-time-around sweethearts and while their preference for activities (Brian was an outdoorsman.  Amy's home was her castle) didn't completely mesh, they gave and took enough to make their marriage work.  It worked until the day Amy began to notice subtle, then disturbing changes in Brian's behavior.  Numerous doctor's visits came to one conclusion, Brian, a former football player, had Alzheimers.

When the symptoms became to pronounced for anymore denial, Brian made a decision.  He wanted to end his life on his own terms.  But, in America, that is not an easy task.  The few states that allow for assisted suicide require residency.  There is no tourism suicide in the US.

So, Amy looked further and found that a company in Switzerland took patients from overseas.  The run up to the fatal day was grueling.  Local neurologists, psychiatrists, and therapists did not want to give Amy and Brian the papers confirming his diagnosis while also confirming that his  mind was sound enough to make this staggering decision.

As the clock ticked, Amy took on more and more responsibility for Brian's daily life and for the pursuit of the documents they needed to open the door for Brian's life ending journey.

Amy talks about crying a lot, I know she is telling the truth.  It's what happens to the caregiver, even more so to a caregiver wishing for her spouse's death to relieve him from his torture.  This is a three hanky, or three boxes of tissue, book.  Every time Amy cried, every time she expressed anger and frustration at the medical system that won't acknowledge the severity of the patient's condition and offers useless platitudes ,I raged right along with her

Brian got his death wish.  Amy was caught in the conflict of letting her terminally ill husband go, or praying for a recovery she knew would never come.

I can only say that this book comes from a place of truth.  It should be required reading for any grief group, not just Alzheimer's groups of which there are many.

Thank you to Amy Bloom for taking a huge risk and giving words to the horrible journey that so many caregivers  go on.  This is a remarkable, soul bearing book and should give "misery loves company" comfort to all of those who are walking the same path.  It should also be read in it's entirety to Congress and State Legislators so that those who suffer do not have to travel to Switzerland to lay down their burden.  Highly, highly recommended.
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This is a memoir of deep grief, which Bloom makes you feel from the first pages. But some part of grief is always private and unknowable, and that comes across here, too, sometimes in ways that made for rough reading. Why is Bloom sharing this detail, which seems unnecessary? Why are we hearing about this episode instead of that one? Bloom is a masterful writer; I don't doubt that she chose each word of this book with care, even if parts seemed tedious or arbitrary to me.

But then, that's true of life, too, and that's really why I like Bloom's writing: it feels true.
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Amy Bloom's new memoir is masterful--an exacting picture of grief--but perhaps even more importantly, a meticulous rending of the rare dignity of someone deciding to end his own life instead of slipping into the humiliating devolution that is dementia.
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I received an ARC from Netgalley.  In Love, by Amy Bloom.  I have mixed feelings about this book.  Yes it was well written. I did not like the subject. Going off to Switzerland to die, because he has alzheimer.
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Amy Bloom writes with the full bandwidth of her humanity. I’ve read and loved all of her previous books, so I had no doubt I’d feel the same about her new memoir, In Love. 

Fall in love with In Love. It’s effortless. What sounds like a grim topic—the “accompanied suicide” of Amy’s Alzheimer’s-stricken husband, Brian—is anything but. That’s because Amy tells the whole truth. There is no shying away from her own sometimes demonic rage or grief, including a hysterically funny passage about what she imagined her fakakta Jewish family saying as the gatekeeper at Dignitas, the suicide place in Zurich, was speaking pleasantries. There is full disclosure of her sometimes sociopathic sense of right and wrong, her crying fits, and the inability of either her or Brian to find their way out of a parking lot even before he had dementia. There is a journalist’s recounting of the difficulty of finding any help with compassionate suicide (even in states that allow euthanasia). So this book is moving, entertaining, and extremely educational, and you do not have to be interested in the subject to be swept up in the story. And, oh yes, per the title, there is love, deep love. And, oh oh yes, you feel every single thing because Amy Bloom feels it.

Amy Bloom writes like a bedeviled angel. She is a self-described Rottweiler—one of my favorite breeds, powerful dogs who display their enormity in both love and protection. She is one of our greatest living American writers.
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In Love by Amy Bloom is an honest, real, raw, and heart wrenching biography that describes love, loss, and what it means to depart with dignity and on your own terms. 

This is just such a stunning memoir. The author gives us a brutally honest look at her love, loyalty, and her relationship with her husband and the path that was chosen when a diagnosis of eventual death and deterioration is given.  Brian was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and through time, thought, reflection, and guidance, the decision was made for Brian to end his life in assisted medical suicide on his own terms. The path amd journey that take place is written by Amy, and it is truly unforgettable. 

It is real, honest, open, and truly devastating. However through the loss and tears, one can see the love and devotion that was present and fundamental. It is a topic that is not spoken aloud as often as it should be. 

I really appreciate the author’s willingness to allow us to be privy to something so important and personal. A lot of courage must have taken place not only for it to happen, but also to write about it as well. Thank you for sharing your story.

5/5 stars

Thank you NG and Random House Publishing Group for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. 

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 3/8/22.
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