COME TO ME by Amy Bloom


Short Stories
Email this review


 A practicing psychotherapist's splendid, sometimes shocking first collection of stories, some of which have been selected by The Best American Short Stories (1991 and 1992) and cited by the National Magazine Awards. Each of these 14 family-centric pieces involves trespass. In the elegant, disturbing opening story, ``Love Is Not a Pie,'' the narrator breaks off her wedding engagement after realizing, during her mother's funeral, that a family friend named Mr. DeCuervo has for many years carried on an affair not just with her mother, as she and her sister had reluctantly concluded, but also with their big, gruff, Irish father, with whom DeCuervo tearily goes off to nap after the mother's burial. In ``Sleepwalking,'' a bereaved wife lets her beloved 19-year-old stepson, who calls her ``Mom,'' seduce her. In ``Hyacinths,'' six-year-old David accidentally shoots and kills his young cousin in his widowed father's barn; then his father attempts to shoot him in retribution but is stopped by his aunt and uncle, who adopt the boy. This same boy turns out when grown to be David, the husband of Galen, protagonist or peripheral character in many of the later stories gathered here: for example, in one about Galen's adulterous suburban fling with handsome neighbor Henry DiMartino; in another about Henry's conventional wife's subsequent weird and touching love affair with a transvestite hairdresser; and, most notably and powerfully, in the prize-winning ``Silver Water,'' about the mercy killing of one of Galen's daughters--a hopeless schizophrenic named Rose--by the other, kind and clearheaded Violet, who finds Rose lying on the family lawn late one night, overdosing on sleeping pills, and sits beside her while she dies. There's much more, and all of it is well worth a reader's time. Bloom is an acute, poker-faced observer and a gifted writer.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 1993
ISBN: 0-06-018236-9
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1993


MysteryNEW HAVEN NOIR by Amy Bloom
by Amy Bloom
FictionLUCKY US by Amy Bloom
by Amy Bloom