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Amy Bloom
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Love Invents Us Reading Group Guide

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,751 ratings  ·  175 reviews
'Masterful, humane and hilarious' Kate Figes, Elle
Published by Vintage Contemporaries (first published December 30th 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Tiffoknee the 3rd Conner
Jan 19, 2014 Tiffoknee the 3rd Conner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Serious readers.
Shelves: indispensable
I wrote this down in my reader-response journal and sometimes re-read it on the train, bus, or just when I feel the need to shed a quick tear, which is more often than I care to admit.

"The organ came in on cue and everyone stood up as the lady in gray sang again, sang the only hymn Mrs. Hill had ever sung, in her cracked, phlegmy voice. She sang it so often Elizabeth learned the words, and hummed along, not wanting to intrude or do the wrong thing until Mrs. Hill called her into her bedroom one
I'm a fan of Amy Bloom, but sometimes I wonder if that's mostly because I'll never get over one of her first short stories, "Love Is Not A Pie." What is best about her, for me, is in that first collection of stories: she writes about what is taboo directly and from a startling point of view that makes me appreciate the transcendence of love over our conventional limits. Plus, she writes so beautifully, she'd be irresistible no matter what she was writing about.

Love Invents Us contains some of h
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 11, 2015 Margaret rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who appreciate skilled literary fiction writers
Recommended to Margaret by: Phyllis
I had not heard of Amy Bloom when I opened this book, which had been loaned to me by a friend. At first I was not quite sure what to make of it. The book is divided into three sections: the first and third are first person narratives told over a period of thirty years or so by Elizabeth Taube, who is in middle school at the beginning of the book. That first section deals with Elizabeth as a seventh grader. The opening of the book is a bit creepy, and much of what follows, especially in that firs ...more
I picked this up in a used bookstore a couple of weeks ago because I loved the title (I believe the title: love *does* invent us), and I have read great short stories by Bloom. On reading the 1st page, I realized that I had read this novel before, a few years ago (a library copy? or have I bought it a second time?). I reread it, over about a 24 hr period. Partly procrastinating (who wants to pack for a move, after all, or put together their reappointment dossier?!), but partly because its a very ...more
I wish, I really wish, I could write the review this book deserves. The review that is in my head, that I have trouble putting into words that make sense.

Truly, a very beautiful book. The heartbreaking points are plentiful, but in a way that we all experience at some point in our lives. The absolute ability of Bloom to accurately describe love and infatuation - even I felt in love during this book.

There is no judgment in this book, although much of the subject matter, someone could judge. A revi
I picked this up on spec at Powells because someone had written an enthusiastic shelf talker for a more recent book by Amy Bloom. The book starts off a bit strangely as the narrator - who is in Grade 5 - spends her after school time trying on furs in her underwear for the admiration (and ONLY the admiration) of the elderly shop owner. The narrator is the single and not much loved child of a successful professional couple living in Great Neck, Long Island, in the sixties and her continued efforts ...more
This is the second of Bloom's books that I have read. I didn't like it as much as I thought I would, but it was still worth the read. This story was bleak, the characters were damaged and it was moving, in an odd, depressing, Bloom-like way.

I'm not exactly sure why it didn't grab me, but the novel felt .... listless, which I guess echoed the character's own lives. I felt similar to how I did with her short stories, as if it wasn't fleshed out enough. I wanted some of her short stories to be ful
Jen Knox
I like the sadness. A lot of sadness and longing here, sometimes for no apparent reason.
It felt like a memoir, only sadder. There was beautiful, spare writing throughout with a few absolutely fantastic descriptions ("And beneath those feet, my hands ... worn and rough as cedar bark. Ivory angel feet with opal nails and satin soles. And my hands became his steps."), but Bloom doesn't flaunt her skills, she teases, lets a reader peek. The simplicity of her writing makes such passages leap from th
I've got to say, I hated this book. The only actual love that seemed to be in this book was with Mrs. Hill. All the other relationships seemed to be all about sex. Plus, Bloom seemed extremely racist and homophobic. She kept making it clear that this is a black man and that it should be a surprise that a black man is successful. Then, when Elizabeth's son comes up, she uses the word queer and faggot, two very discriminatory words. Plus, she made baby Max a stereotypical homosexual, doing cartwhe ...more
Sempre que um autor decide escrever caminhos tortuosos para os seus personagens mas insiste em fazê-lo com um tom emocional neutro, como quem acha oh-isto-acontece-todos-os-dias-na-porta-ao-lado-e-continuamos-todos-vivos, é meio caminho andado para me fazer rolar os olhos e querer deixar o livro a meio.
Se há sofrimento indizível e perfeitamente camuflado no dia-a-dia? Sem dúvida. Mas certamente que, a escrever uma história sobre esse mesmo sofrimento, não é plausível desprovê-lo de significado.
This is one of those books when you get to the end and you are shocked that you read the whole thing. What a waste of good reading time. I didn't like Elizabeth or understand her decisions and the author made no effort to explain it. Some story lines would begin in the middle as though the reader was just supposed to magically know what was happening or what the characters were talking about. I don't see myself ever bothering with another book by Amy Bloom if this is her trademark style.
I haven't read this book in a long time... but I remember it like I just read it today. It was my go-to book when I needed a reading fix, something comfortable and unsettling at the same time. I could relate to Elizabeth and I hated the grown men who thought they loved her... I always wanted her to stay a child. I loved the writing, it was honest and blunt, no sugar coating. I will always remember it.
Amy Bloom is a marvelously accomplished writer whose prose is packed with beautiful descriptions to saturate your mind, who seamlessly fills her novels with fantastic imagery. "Love Invents Us" may make readers squirm in discomfort as Bloom deals with a young girl's sexuality and the people with whom she forms lifelong bonds and who deeply affect her life and the choices she makes. Bloom tackles Elizabeth's complex taboo relationship with her junior-high school teacher matter-of-factly, allowing ...more

The title of Amy Bloom’s book “Love Invents Us,” is the come hither snake that attracted me to this novel. Only because it is so true. Love makes us the human beings we are – what we don’t get, what we do, what we settle for. The main character n this book, Elizabeth, has wanted love all her life: from her parents, from older gentlemen who have took her in, from a professor who put her on a pedestal. And it is also love that shaped what she gave: from the
She's a terrific writer, I walked by her books dozens of times and finally picked this one up, her debut. Amy Bloom blew all the other female writers that I've read recently out of the water.
Rocio Rodriguez Torres
this book was weird... since the first page you get that this book will be weird and odd and maybe uncomfortable... we see Elizabeth a elementary school girl modeling coats in her underwear to an older man, one that is creatly sexually atracted to her.... and you have and idea that this book will not be an easy read, that is will be more troubled...
I did't liked that everything in Elizabeth life was about sex when it shouldnt be... even the kids she meets (kids that are really kids and kids that
Don't know where I got this recommendation. It was a good story, about an eight-grader who gets involved with her English teacher in a kind of weird way. Then she falls for an African-American basketball player in high school (I think it was in the 60s) and they fall in love. When they are found out, the father sends him away and they don't see each other for seven year. THen he's married and still in love with Liz but can't leave his wife and child until the boy is out of the house. By then, is ...more
Life of a Doctor's Wife
Aimee Bender won me over a few years back with her incredible short-story collection, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt.

Which is why I was so eager to read Love Invents Us when I saw it on the shelf at Barnes & Noble. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until much later that Aimee Bender is not the author of Love Invents Us. (The real author is Amy Bloom.) Luckily, I didn’t realize my mistake until after I’d devoured the book.

It was one of those books that kept me up until 3:00 am, reading and rea
Jun 16, 2011 Brandon rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who's ever been in a long-term relationship
Recommended to Brandon by: Terry Hertzler
It seems to be a given that in either fact or fiction love is sure trouble, even without the complications age or race that Amy Bloom mixes into her novel Love Invents Us.

The set-up: Elizabeth Taube attracts older men in part because she wants to. But as quickly as she settles into a serious relationship with her a high school English teacher Max Stone, she becomes attracted to a classmate Horace “Huddie” Lester. Not that anything was stable before, but this triad serves as the surface trouble i
Jul 26, 2010 Judy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Amy Bloom's novel. Away, was one of my favorite books in 2008. While in Michigan for my mom's memorial in June, I stopped in at Shaman Drum Bookstore in Ann Arbor (which sadly closed its doors on June 30) and picked up Love Invents Us, Bloom's first novel. I had been slogging through Sara Water's lugubrious The Little Stranger (which I will review next), but once I read the first few pages of Amy Bloom's novel, I fell again under her spell.

I read all through lunch at Ann Arbor's Zingerman's Road
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolee Wheeler
I just can't get over what a twit the protagonist is. And, oddly, I found a lot of the "love" scenes grotesque. I suppose I am finally reacting appropriately to sexual intimacy between a young girl and her teacher. What's become of me?

This is one of those novels where no amount of gorgeous writing can make me feel anything other than contempt for her all-too-human characters.

ETA: I gave this one more star, because I realized that the twitty protagonist is the whole point. As I went further and f
I was wavering between 3 and 4 stars for this one, and what sealed the deal was the fact that I started it on the train in the morning and finished it at home in the evening, and for a book that can fit into the extra spaces of one day in your life, It's pretty good. It's about a young girl and the people she loves, mostly sexually but also platonically, over the course of her adolescence and early adulthood, few of whom she consciously chooses- she just kind of falls through life and towards th ...more
Sometimes it's okay to judge a book by its cover. For example, when the cover boasts a review like this, from the Los Angeles Times: "Bloom is a truly excellent writer...lyrical and funny....There is a line worth quoting on almost every page of this book." Under these circumstances, one would be wise to judge the book by the cover, because it's true: Amy Bloom is an excellent writer and Love Invents Us is lyrical, funny, and quotable.

The story follows the lives of its three main characters, Eliz
Richard Jespers
Part I - First person from the point of view of a teen-age girl.

Part II - Third person, to follow the point of view or inner thoughts of several characters plus a letter.

Part III - First person, back to Liz as an adult.

In some ways a dissatisfying structure. The most vital part of the novel is Part I, the most honest. Too bad Bloom couldn’t find a way to keep it all in the first person, or to ascribe that same vitality to the other sections.
This was the first book I've read by Amy Bloom, and I'm afraid my expectations were a bit high. She has tremendous descriptive talent--so many gorgeous, seemingly effortless, just right ways of putting things. The language was truly rare, and a wonderful pleasure. Storywise, however, I found the characterizations and character psychologies a bit obscure. I don't want to give anything away, but I found the central protagonist's motivations difficult to discern, and the fact that the POV rotated f ...more
I've been avoiding writing this review because it breaks my heart to say anything negative about Amy Bloom, and I just don't see any way around it.

Maybe it's because I've read all her short stories voraciously and often. Her human subjects are so flawed, tortured, joyous and real that I found it to be a real emotional struggle to follow them through a novel-length piece. It did not help that several chapters were clearly re-writes of published stories. Basically by the final chapters I was roll
I have read this book too many times to count. I used to read it over and over when I was in college, I think because it kind of epitomized the sort of writer I wanted to be - I liked how it mixed upsetting, emotionally raw situations with really beautiful language. This book was one that taught me you could be poetic without being soft or flowery or saccharine.
The beginning of this book reminds me of another book named: "Amy & Isabel" as Amy fell in love with her English teacher. Once Isabel found out about Amy's infatuation and the teacher's sexual advances toward Amy, took action to end their so called relationship.
However, in "Love Invents Us" the mother figure was absent, and Elizabeth could move freely from Mr. Stone (Her English teacher) to another lover (Horace, Huddie) and nobody was there to question the righteousness of her actions.

I rea
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Amy Bloom is the author of "Come to Me," a National Book Award finalist; "A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You," nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award; "Love Invents Us"; and "Normal." Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, O. Henry Prize Short Stories, The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction, and many other anthologies here and abroad. She has wri ...more
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“Some people are your family no matter when you find them, and some people are not, even if you are laid, still wet and crumpled, in their arms.” 17 likes
“And I surely cannot tell him that I'm no more good for me or for him than I ever was, that I will disappoint and confuse him, that I've been alone my whole life, and that it may really be too hard and too late, not even desirable, after such long, familiar cold, to be known, and heard, and seen.” 7 likes
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