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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sexy,intelligent love story that rings true
I have never read such an intelligent and moving love story, and Istayed up until 3:00am to finish it. I cared about Aly from the start, andI felt Tom was something really special. He had to be, or Aly wouldn't have been attracted to him. In her (mistaken) teaching career, as she says, she's known maybe thousands of kids. There are boys his age in real life who are mature...
Published on September 24, 1999

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars don't waste your time!
when i read in REAL SIMPLE that this was on the list of "50 BOOKS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE" i was curious. i decided to read it thinking that it would give me insight as to why a much older woman (a teacher, no less) would be attracted to a boy 20 years younger than herself. i have to say that upon completion of the book, i am still wondering. at first i found the...
Published 11 months ago by caradee


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A sexy,intelligent love story that rings true, September 24, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Much Younger Man (Paperback)
I have never read such an intelligent and moving love story, and Istayed up until 3:00am to finish it. I cared about Aly from the start, andI felt Tom was something really special. He had to be, or Aly wouldn't have been attracted to him. In her (mistaken) teaching career, as she says, she's known maybe thousands of kids. There are boys his age in real life who are mature in different ways (for example, performing artists) and given his privileged background, with smart but difficult parents, there's no reason why he shouldn't be emotionally mature, and in some ways quite sophisticated. But he's not too mature or too good. He is capable of the dishonesty that kids practice on their parents, he exploits the feelings of his first younger girlfriend, he's arrogant in a very young guy's way about other people's creative work, and so on. To me, he is totally believable. I loved him, and I loved the the way this book is written. It moves along, it can be read as a romance, but it also is deceptively simple. Highbridge's descriptions of the city and nature are stunning, there's life in even the minor characters, and humour that catches you off guard. This book is not only incredibly sexy, it is thought-provoking, and to me it rings true.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A realistic and mature romance, December 20, 2001
This review is from: A Much Younger Man (Hardcover)
The subject matter in this book is treated with respect and taste. We get to know Alyson, the 35 year old teacher, intimately. We cry for her. We want it to work with Tom, the much younger man, the son of her college friend. Tom sincerely loves Aly, but it will take a lot of courage to deal with society, Tom's parents, and the pressures on Aly as a schoolteacher. The eroticism is very tastefully done, but also highly sensual. Most of the characters are completely believable, with a few stereotypes thrown in to the mix. I know that I was caught up in the lives of the main characters when I began to helplessly sob in the next-to-the-last chapter of the book. This is not casual, light romance. This is serious stuff. It's heartbreaking, moving, and loving. You feel as if you have gone through the three years from the moment Aly and Tom first catch sight of each other on a commuter train. Aly goes from feeling Tom has an "incipient crush" to understand she is in love. Tom, being younger, feels it much sooner. But, in spite of being younger, his love lasts.
This book is written in a very unique style, jumping from first to third person with nary a breath. However, it works. Nearly everything about this book works, and I have re-read it several times. You can feel the emotions as you read about them. Fine story-writing like this is rare, and I highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A subtle,sensuous tale that lingers in the mind., April 14, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Much Younger Man (Hardcover)
Starting with the provocative idea, "What if May were 16 and a male, and December were a thirty something female?" Dianne Highbridge's novel starkly shows the painfully different reactions the lovers, the lovers' friends and families, even the lovers at different times--have to this premise. What is amazing about this novel is how surely we feel at the end that these two people--no matter the differences in age,class or life experience--belong together. Highbridge lets us know just enough about Aly's damaging first marriage, and Tom's instinctive, sensitive appraisal of it, to let us see Tom as someone who will heal as well as love her. Tom's youth is not shied away from but we also get a full, many-coloured picture of traits that will only braid more strongly through time with Aly's . The writing itself is what impresses me most about this book: spare, haiku-like suggestions that hold the weight of so much more; gleams of thoughts about Tom interrupting more and more frequently to show not tell us Aly's growing awareness of him. This is how a woman is really seduced and Highbridge has the delicacy and flair to let the love between them seep into our reading. As it would in real life. The story compels, the prose is poetry--a wonderful read.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars poignant ... lyrical, February 26, 2000
This review is from: A Much Younger Man (Paperback)
'a much younger man' was breathtaking!
i wasn't sure what to expect when i began reading this novel. sitting out on the porch, i had intended to read about a chapter at most but in the end i was turning page after page for almost one and a half hours!
ms. highbridge's prose is pithy, yet haunting, ethereal. slowly and deliberately, the novel explores the complex layers of Aly and Tom's relationship - and slowly and deliberately, the reader falls in love with them and empathises with the difficulty of their predicament. Without resorting to sentimentality, Highbridge juxtaposes the simple beauty of Aly and Tom's feelings for each other against the anger and the censure of others. Highbridge doesn't try to romanticise the situation, and deals with a lot of the real problems they face in a stark and succint way. this book has some dark and sad moments, but the prose is never less than breathtaking and lyrical in its simplicity.
tom is indeed, as aly describes him, 'beautiful'. perhaps he is more mature than any teenager that ever lived, but you can forgive the author this indiscretion, because Tom is so endearing, so constant in his love for aly that you just can't help loving him too, and fully understanding why aly goes through all that mess to be with him.
i could not put this book down the first time i read it and have to confess that i reread it only days after finishing it the first time - it had that much of an impact on me! i have no doubt in my mind that i will read it many more times, and highly recommend it to any reader who is looking for a love story with an unconventional setting. a truly beautiful book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Dianne Highbridge, May 23, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Much Younger Man (Hardcover)
I cannot remember ever having read such a compelling love story. I suffered and rejoiced with Aly, I couldn`t eat nor sleep until the end, which has such a unique visionary intensity. I even bought a CD by Barbara Strozzi... Reading this story is falling in love yourself. Impossible not to identify with Aly, what with her being neither very young, nor very slim, nor very succesful. Painful to realize, on closing the book, that it would be hard to come by a Tom in real life, a boy so truly independent from others, a boy knowing his own mind and acting by it, a boy with authentic interests beyond the mainstream. And, above all, with a heart uncorrupted by the modern tendency towards keeping disengaged. These qualities are rare in men and positively contrast with what I know about teenage boys. (The fact that Tom displays them might be attributed to the "kind of sling, from some tribe in the Amazon", that he was carried in on his mother's back as a baby, though...) Anyway, and strangely so, all this can do nothing to diminish the truthfulness and magic of the story. Thank you, Dianne Highbridge.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Irresistible, utterly believable, and beautifully written, May 4, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Much Younger Man (Hardcover)
At the end of a dinner party, my hostess bundled me off with a copy of "A Much Younger Man", telling me that I'd likely enjoy it. Enjoy it I did -- I fairly devoured it, staying up all night to read it, unable to put it aside. I hadn't expected to feel much compassion for either of the two main characters, the 30-year-old Aly and her 16-year-old paramour Tom. Normally I have little sympathy for adults (of either sex) who become romantically entangled with teenagers. But Dianne Highbridge draws such a sensitive and compelling portrait of Aly and Tom that I found myself rooting for them, against all odds. I also found myself stopping to re-read passages that were so gracefully written, I was tempted to jot them down in my journal for the sheer pleasure of reading them again. Thanks to Dianne Highbridge for a lovely, moving, and ultimately unforgettable read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a very entralling story!, July 22, 2001
By 
This review is from: A Much Younger Man (Paperback)
A friend sent me this book & right away I felt compelled to read it for some odd reason. I would not normally think it is okay for a mature woman to have a sexual relationship with a guy 20 years younger than her but for some reason Tom is way mature for his years in intellect. Yet he is still young enough to desire all the things a young guy his age normally wants. This story just really captured me & I loved it!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars masterly, June 7, 2000
This review is from: A Much Younger Man (Hardcover)
The creative use of empty space is not confined to Japanese esthetics but is a concept put to use in, certainly, all Japanese art forms. The author of this novel, having spent eighteen years in Japan, has absorbed that lesson and produced what can only be called a powerful story, powerful in its apparent stylistic simplicity. What is left unsaid trails in the wake of what is said. Sex can be at once lusty and, well, pure enough. This novel is exceptionally fine.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Writing on a Delicate Subject, December 10, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Much Younger Man (Hardcover)
"A Much Younger Man" is not the kind of book I would have picked up unaided, the subject matter having little fundamental interest for me, but it was recommended and so I read it, and enjoyed it tremendously. Too often nowadays, love stories or romances are either trite or downright unpleasant. You can take your pick between the incredibly syrupy or the drunken, wife-beating lout scenario. The fact that this novel presented love from an unusual angle was the first thing that drew me in, and ultimately delighted me. The ability to see beyond the conventional wisdom of what is socially or morally acceptable and go after what feels absolutely right and good is far too often scorned by the majority of people. Both the heroine, Aly, and the hero, Tom (although he is just a little too good to be true), show real courage and faith and that is nothing short of admirable. They refuse to settle for the mediocrity of what is considered "acceptable" by people who have never dared to go beyond the narrowest confines of their own emotions.
Beyond the story line and emotional tugs, the writing style is concise and fresh. It is also always elegant and never sinks into the passionate raptures that could so easily be the pitfall of this kind of story. Aly's voice, in particular, is always absolutely believable.
I am already looking forward to reading this author's next work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skillfully written and suspenseful novel on unusual topic, May 29, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A Much Younger Man (Hardcover)
The only point I want to make that has not already been made by others is the extremely proficient skill the author has in mixing, in the same paragraph, interior monologue and dialogue. As criticism, and it's not a failure, is the lack of delineation of the characters. Who is Tom, really? Why is Aly so weak-minded at one time and so courageous at another? Why do we know so little about these characters at the novel's end? Nevertheless, I look forward to reading more of this author's work. She's really a pro.
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A Much Younger Man
A Much Younger Man by Dianne Highbridge (Paperback - July 1, 2003)
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