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“Where the Love God Hangs Out”

Where the God of Love Hangs Out: FictionThe stories in Amy Bloom’s collection “Where the God of Love Hangs Out” depict the accidents, evasions, and conclusions provoked by the wily deity of the title. In her raw, specific illustrations of attraction, Bloom captures the tenderness and confusion that exist along the spectrum of romance and basic physicality. Her twelve stories contain moments of triumphal love, as well as mistaken, worn, and familial. Bloom tends to begin her stories with precise, declarative sentences (“At two o’clock in the morning, no one is to blame”; “William has gout”). She hooks the reader from the first and as the story expands, your interest increases. Elements of forbidden desire have a stake in Bloom’s plots, but she does not write to scandalize. When her characters blunder, they deal with the consequences. Whether you recognize something from your past or see something you imagine for your future, “Where the God of Love Hangs Out” offers a shrewd perspective on a universal emotion in its infinite guises.

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