Where the God of Love Hangs Out by Amy Bloom - Book Review

Amy Bloom is a great writer and also a psychotherapist. You will see plenty of reviews speculating that her training in the latter has given her a magic pen. This is a fallacy. A great writer has a gift; there are many who can make clear the foibles of human nature as Ms. Bloom so keenly does. They do not need a psychology degree. Bloom is a talented writer who just happens to also be a psychotherapist.

Where the God of Love Hangs Out follows a line of Amy Bloom successes, being, once again, wonderfully well-written and filled with humans grappling with life (messy, messy life). In this collection of twelve short stories, some connected – some not, the theme is not only discernible from the title, but also from the characters that "love," though they love poorly.

Bloom’s ability to create well-formed characters speaking honest dialogue is only matched by her ability to leave the true power in the unstated. This being said, Where the God of Love Hangs Out's plots tend to meander into nothingness, as our lives sometimes do, but this leaves some climaxes that never quite happen, or happen too soon.

Short stories can oftentimes be great companions at the doctor’s office or the beach or on the train, but these deserve a bit more thought. In fact, the characters are so compelling they deserve a bit more writing from Ms. Bloom. Each story could almost be continued in novel form. Though not as enjoyable for this reviewer as Away, those looking for deep character-driven observations on the essences of the human condition will not be disappointed in Where the God of Love Hangs Out.
Genre: Short Story Fiction. Pages: 224.
This book was received as part of the Library Thing Early Reviewers program.
Publisher: Random House. Date: January 2010.
ISBN-13: 978-1400063574
BUY Where the God of Love Hangs Out HERE

Amy Bloom is the writer & producer for Lifetime Television's "State of Mind," a TV program that examines the lives of psychiatrists. She lives in Connecticut and teaches creative writing at Yale. You can learn more about her on her website.
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