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When You Were Older by Catherine Ryan Hyde
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When You Were Older (edition 2012)

by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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486242,697 (3.69)None
Member:kehs
Title:When You Were Older
Authors:Catherine Ryan Hyde
Info:Doubleday (2012), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:vine harvest, freebie, april 12, 2012

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When You Were Older by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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3 1/2 stars: Good book that could have been a great book.

In need of editing and better typesetting: "And I thought, That's my older brother."

Russell is not a believable character, and that makes it impossible to connect with him. His inner dialogue rambles and does not match his behavior. Ben is well drawn once his brain is damaged, but younger Ben is overdone and one dimensional. Most of the secondary characters don't feel authentic.

The flow of the story is good, and the book is easy to read (with the exception of a couple of sections toward the end). But, I didn't find the ending satisfying: Ben is going to be happy living in a small NYC apartment with a house cleaner as his new buddy? Not likely. ( )
  DL_Orton | Jun 29, 2015 |
On 9-11 the main character gets an early morning call which is good because it makes him late for work in one of the twin towers. It's bad because the call is to inform him that his mother has died of a brain aneurism and that he needs to come home and take care of adult brain damaged brother.

Upon arrival home he falls in love with an Egyptian woman, whose father is very strict. The father and daughter own a bakery which is vandalized in the aftermath of 911 by people who think that everyone from the mid east is a terrorist.

There is the very needy brother to look after, a forbidden romance, and emotional turmoil from 911 and the loss of so many friends and colleagues. And do much more.

I liked to book but it felt contrived because so much was stuffed into it. ( )
  knitwit2 | Sep 28, 2014 |
I thoroughly enjoyed the story of these two brothers who are thrown back together by events surrounding 9/11. the main setting is in "Nowhereville," Kansas, and I felt that I knew this town and others much like it. The mixed emotions that came after 9/11 are superbly handled by Hyde. Sympathy for the brothers and the kindling romance kept me interested to the end. ( )
  robin_thompson | Aug 21, 2014 |
Russell is late leaving for work when a phone call tells of his mother's death. He must go home immediately to look after his brain damaged older brother, Ben.

Russell's lateness means he was not at work in one of the towers destroyed on 9/11. It takes him several days to get home due to transport disruptions.

Ben is unable to comprehend the loss of his mother. He has frequent meltdowns and Russell is ill-equipped to deal with him.

This is a very moving story of how life unfolds for the two brothers. Recommended. ( )
  SusieH5 | Apr 27, 2013 |
I loved this book. It gripped me from the opening pages and I didn't want to put it down. The two main characters are brothers, Russell and Ben, who have been apart for several years but are re-united when circumstances intervene. We hear how as the terrible tragedy of 9/11 unfolds a phone call is made that saves the life of Russell. This leads him to having to return to his home town and take on the care of his brain damaged brother Ben. As the two brothers rekindle their bonds Russell discovers love with a girl of a different nationality to himself, this leads to encounters with ugly prejudices. The author gets across the vast difference between patriotism and racism and both themes are explored in an intelligent and expressive style. This novel covers love, loss, racism, patriotism and loyalty in a thought provoking manner. A fabulous read that I highly recommend. ( )
  kehs | May 16, 2012 |
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It's New York, September 11th, 2001. Russell Ammiano is rushing to work when he gets a phone call that saves his life. As the city he loves is hit by unimaginable tragedy, Russell must turn his back and hurry home to Kansas.

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