Monday, May 24, 2010

Come to Me by Amy Bloom

My first experience with Amy Bloom was through her nonfiction in her book Normal. It's focus was on transexuals and transgendered people and it was wonderful to read a book where the author wrote about a topic that's regarded as taboo with such empathy and kindness. After reading Come to Me, a short collection of her short fiction, I see that she does the same with her fiction. What she gives us in this jewel of a collection is a glimpse into the lives of every day people behind their closed doors, behind the walls that they have put up for society's purpose...or sometimes for their own. Bloom writes with such a delicate hand. A gentle hand. You feel safe with her. Comfortable with her. Like the world is an ok place where things are just more accepted with her. Like she just gets it. Because she does get it. In so many words, Amy Bloom says what we all know to be true. We ALL have our skeletons in the closet that no one else sees. We don't all cross dress, we don't all have affairs, we don't all cross sexual boundaries that are taboo, we don't all daydream of another life, but we all have something somewhere that someone else somewhere would probably consider taboo. And that is normal. These are the stories that Bloom shares with us. The stories of every day people. The way they relate to one another and the way those relationships are special, the way they are flawed, the way they are beautiful, the way they cause pain, and the way they cause passion. There wasn't a story in this too short collection that I didn't fall in love with. I could've read a thousand page anthology of Bloom's fiction and never had enough. And I'll certainly be adding everything she's written to my TBR list. Her writing itself is just beautiful. It's simple and relatable and then all of a sudden she'll just paint this beautiful solitary image with her words or throw one passage at you that just takes your breath away. It's wonderful how she does that. I'm thinking of one scene in particular where a woman trips on a stone to be caught by a man around her waist and neck that ends up in a kiss that may not have happened. Just so much wonderfulness (is that a word?) in this collection. Yes, yes...I think I need more of Ms. Bloom's work...

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