Guest Post by Kevin Brown
Amy Bloom’s memoir relates her husband’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis and their struggle to find a way for him to die as he chooses rather than suffer through years of mental decline. Bloom weaves chapters from the past — as she realizes what’s happening to her husband and the revelation of his diagnosis — with those of Brian’s final days in Switzerland, as well as chapters on the challenges those who want to end their life face. Bloom writes movingly about her love for Brian, consistently reminding the reader through scenes she describes, in addition to her reflections, that her helping him die comes out of that love. As soon as he is diagnosed, Brian asks Bloom to help him, as she has always been the planner in their relationship, and he has begun to lose the ability to do that type of work. This book is a testament to their marriage and their love as much as it is an exploration of why someone would want to end their life and why the person who loves them most would want to help. It is, as the subtitle states, a memoir of love and loss, and the reader feels both equally.
In Love: A Memory of Love and Loss by Amy Bloom. Random House, 2022.
Reviewer bio: Kevin Brown has published three books of poetry: Liturgical Calendar: Poems (Wipf and Stock); A Lexicon of Lost Words (winner of the Violet Reed Haas Prize for Poetry, Snake Nation Press); and Exit Lines (Plain View Press). He also has a memoir, Another Way: Finding Faith, Then Finding It Again, and a book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels. Twitter @kevinbrownwrite or kevinbrownwrites.weebly.com/.