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When You Were Older Paperback – November 9, 2012
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About the Author
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the best-selling and award-winning author of 22 published and forthcoming books, including the acclaimed WHEN YOU WERE OLDER, DON'T LET ME GO, SECOND HAND HEART, WHEN I FOUND YOU, and the creative nonfiction collection THE LONG, STEEP PATH: EVERYDAY INSPIRATION FROM THE AUTHOR OF PAY IT FORWARD. New Kindle editions of her backlist titles FUNERALS FOR HORSES, EARTHQUAKE WEATHER AND OTHER STORIES, ELECTRIC GOD, and WALTER'S PURPLE HEART are now available. Forthcoming frontlist titles are WALK ME HOME and WHERE WE BELONG. Her bestselling novel PAY IT FORWARD inspired the movie of the same name. The Richard and Judy Book Club, the UK's equivalent of the Oprah book club, launched LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE and subsequent novels onto the bestseller list in the UK. Learn much more about the author, maybe even more than you wanted to know, at catherineryanhyde.com.
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Top Customer Reviews
Russell, who works at a big advertising agency on the 104th floor of one of the towers, has managed to escape small-town life and his family, who he loves but can't tolerate. On September 11th, on his way out the door to a meeting at his place of work, he answers a phone call. His mom has died suddenly, leaving his disabled brother alone with only the neighbors to take care of him. Russell makes arrangements, hangs up the phone, then sees, through his living room window, as his place of work is destroyed. Although answering the phone saved his life,at this point, his life plunges into chaos. How he survives and who he meets along the way are metaphors for the aftermath of the Twin Towers tragedy. The book is an emotional roller-coaster through grief, responsibility, love, terrorism, cultural adaptation and tolerance, and, ultimately, the unique human condition of living in America in the post-9/11 years.
Hyde does more than tell the story of the tragedy through the eyes of a survivor. She dwells very little on the actual details of the terrorist attack. The impact on the characters in the story tells more about the events during and afterward than a mere factual account. The emotional history of the event is Hyde's main focus.
Hyde's language is pitch-perfect. When a middle-eastern person is speaking in the story, I hear the accent of the character in my head; when the character is from Kansas or New York or somewhere else, that's also evident, though I couldn't point to any particular word or phrase that creates that impression.
Unlike many "free books for Kindle" on Amazon, Hyde's are always, always, edited perfectly. Fussy readers (like me) will not be offended by grammar, punctuation, or usage errors. She is a master of her art in every way, including cosmetic details that matter so much to the flow and readability of a novel.
After having read this book and most of her other ones, I am a fan for life. Do yourself a favor and read this one, whether you read any of her others or not. I'm betting you'll be hooked.
I don't know, but I found the novel to be somewhat dark and emotionally draining. Perhaps that's what the author wanted, but... It just seemed to me that the main character was constantly, and in almost all situations, rethinking, dwelling incessantly on his highly emotional brush with death, as well as survivor's guilt. Such dark emotions were constantly arising, page after page.
I finished the novel, which means I was sufficiently entertained. But to be honest, I would occasionally glance down at the Kindle's "left to read" to see how much longer the novel would last. Yes, I was more than happy to see it coming to an end. Perhaps not a fair review, but I read for entertainment, not to delve into the mental issues of the main character. Obviously, however, I was entertained enough to finish, so that says something, right?
Just so you know, I've read other novels by Catherine Ryan Hyde and I'll continue to check out her work. For example, the author's novel "Don't Let Me Go" was absolutely wonderful and highly entertaining.