The Love of My Youth by Mary Gordon

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Synopsis

From the acclaimed author of Pearl and Final Payments comes a beautifully choreographed novel about first lovers meeting again after more than thirty years and reimmersing themselves in their shared past.
 
Miranda and Adam, high-school sweethearts now in their late fifties, arrive by chance at the same time in Rome, a city where they once spent a summer deeply in love, living together blissfully. At an awkward reunion, the two—who parted in an atmosphere of passionate betrayal in the 1960s and haven’t seen each other since—are surprised to discover that they may have something to talk about. Both have their own guilt, their sense of who betrayed whom, and their long-held interpretation of the events that caused them not to marry and to split apart into the lives they’ve led since—both are married to others, with grown children. For the few weeks they are in Rome, Adam suggests that they meet for daily walks and get to know each other again. Gradually, as they take in the pleasures of the city and the drama of its streets, they discover not only what matters to them now but also more about what happened to them long ago.
 
Miranda and Adam are masterfully portrayed characters, intent upon understanding who they are in relation to who they were. A story about what first love means and how it is shattered, and the lessons old lovers may still have to share with each other many years later, The Love of My Youth is also a poignant look back at the hopes and dreams of a generation and what became of them.




From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Mary Gordon

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Mary Gordon is an internationally recognized educator, author, child advocate, and parenting expert who has created award-winning programs focused on the power of empathy. In 1996, she founded Roots of Empathy, which now offers programs in Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and elsewhere. Gordon speaks and consults to governments, educational organizations, and public institutions. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and an Ashoka Fellow. Her Web site is http://www.rootsofempathy.org.
 
Published April 5, 2011 by Anchor. 321 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Love of My Youth

Kirkus Reviews

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After recently publishing more nonfiction (Reading Jesus, 2009, etc.), Gordon (The Stories of Mary Gordon, 2006, etc.) returns to the novel form in this examination of first love revisited.

Apr 01 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

The New York Times

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In Mary Gordon’s emotionally engaging, smoothly flowing novel, former lovers, both now nearing 60, are reunited in Rome.

Apr 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

Publishers Weekly

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Thoughtful and moving, Gordon's latest captures the ardor and vulnerability of young love and the cautious circumspection of middle age.

Feb 14 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

Book Reporter

While pondering a famous statue on a Roman side street, Adam remarks: "We believe that it's important to leave a mark, but it doesn't occur to us that it might be a bad mark, undistinguished or corrupt, a mark that would be better unleft."

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

The Washington Times

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Both Adam and Miranda seem reluctant, afraid really, to bring up whatever it was, so what they do instead is to walk and talk - and talk and talk and talk and talk.

May 06 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

Los Angeles Times

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After an awkward encounter at Valerie's apartment, Adam and Miranda agree to daily walks, during which Adam will show Miranda his favorite corners of the city.

Apr 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

The Washington Post

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Aug 11 2012 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

Review (Barnes & Noble)

She understands Adam's relief that Miranda survived his betrayal, and Miranda's vindication in realizing that she has led the happier, healthier life: Adam has paid for his defection with a heart condition and a miserable first marriage that ended with his wife's suicide.

Apr 07 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

The Columbus Dispatch

The two take daily walks together, with Adam showing Miranda "one beautiful thing" on each of them.

Apr 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

Journal Sentinel

In Mary Gordon's novel "The Love of My Youth," Miranda and Adam are the teenagers who spend "hours lying in grassy spaces, cold seeping through their clothes, the cold ignored," who "know they will be together all their lives."

Apr 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

Bookmarks Magazine

Klein San Francisco Chronicle 2.5 of 5 Stars "Though life does of course throw surprising encounters and coincidences our way, the staginess of Gordon's setup is hard to ignore, not least because in the sometimes confusing first chapters, each character delivers long paragraphs of speech pac...

Apr 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

The New Yorker

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May 16 2011 | Read Full Review of The Love of My Youth

Reader Rating for The Love of My Youth
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