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IN LOVE by Amy Bloom Kirkus Star


A Memoir of Love and Loss

by Amy Bloom

Pub Date: March 8th, 2022
ISBN: 978-0-593-24394-7
Publisher: Random House

A beloved fiction writer shares the story of her husband's assisted suicide after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Readers will be locked into this gorgeously written memoir out of profound sympathy for the decision Bloom's 65-year-old husband made upon learning of his condition. A man who absolutely loved life, Brian immediately asked for help planning an early exit. By that time, the couple had for several years endured the depredations of his failing cognition without knowing why. Bloom describes this period with regret, longing, and her trademark mordant humor: "He has gotten me some really ugly jewelry in the last three years, things that are so far from my taste that, if he were a different man, I’d think he was keeping a seventies-boho, broke-ass mistress in Westville and gave me the enam­eled copper earrings and bangle he bought for her, by mistake." After researching what the future might hold, they sought the services of Dignitas, a Swiss organization supporting "accompanied suicide." The application process was complex. As one of Bloom's friends joked, "It’s like you do everything you possibly can to get your kid into Harvard and when you do, they kill him." Along with this black humor comes plenty of despair. Sadness and tears suffuse the narrative, and many readers will shed tears of their own. In one heart-wrenching section, the author describes the plight of a family friend who shared Brian’s condition: "She winds up in the care of one of her daughters, and she does not get to Dig­nitas, because that window probably closed two years earlier, and she will spend the rest of her life in a memory-care unit, and the best outcome I can hope for is that she dies soon. She does not die very soon and when we talk next, she is in the memory-care unit and she says, Something very strange is going on here, please come get me." As Alzheimer's becomes more prevalent, 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.