Sunday, November 20, 2022

Book Review: "In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss" by Amy Bloom

This memoir is poignant, beautifully written, and quietly hopeful.

I’ve been a fan of Amy Bloom’s writing for years and have read everything she has written, short story collections and novels. Needless to say, Bloom's memoir was just as good as her fiction, and it will be something I think about for a long while.

Amy and her husband Brian enjoyed life together—travel, food, intellectual conversation. But suddenly Brian started changing, withdrawing from social gatherings with friends, retiring from his job (which he loved), and once his issues with memory loss and struggling to find the right words intensified, they received the bad news: Brian had Alzheimer’s disease.

Both Amy and Brian knew what that diagnosis meant, and how little by little he’d lose himself. After much conversation, they decided to go to Dignitas, a Swiss-based organization that helps people die when they want, with their dignity intact.

“I don’t want to end my life, he said, but I’d rather end it while I am still myself, rather than become less and less of a person.”

The book follows Amy and Brian’s emotional journey to Zurich and the steps they had to take. It also chronicles Amy’s life after his death, how she had to find the strength to live and work and hope again.

Although short in length, this book is so powerful, so thought-provoking. Is it sad? Of course. But at the same time, it’s hopeful and it could provide some inspiration for others facing similar challenges.

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