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Friday, 16 March 2012

When You Were Older by Catherine Ryan Hyde

When You Were Older 

I was doing my best to get out the door. And then the phone rang. I almost let it go. 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. Kansas, September 14th 2001 Ben Ammiano is mentally disabled, and a creature of habit. Any change to his routine sends him into a spin. But now his estranged brother has reappeared, and Ben's simple, ordered world has turned upside down. In a story as heartbreaking as it is uplifting, two brothers must bury their pasts and learn from each other, if they are to survive. 

On September 11th, Russell is running late for work and just as he is leaving his apartment, the phone rings and his old neighbour tells him his mother has died and needs to come home to look after him brother Ben. As he is coming to terms with the news, the first aeroplane hits the first tower, where he should of been working. The story follows Russell as he returns home and looks after his brother who has brain damage. What follows is Russell adapting to living in a small town again, where everyone knows everyone and when Russell falls for a pretty Egyptian bakery owner's daughter, he finds out how far people will go to retaliate against the people who's country may have been involved in the aeroplane crash.

This book had me captured from the first page. It is an emotional read on many levels. I think that September 11 has affected so many people in many ways and this book looks at the effects of people who were left behind after the event and how towns far away from New York reacted to the events of that day.

It is very well written book which has taken a hard hitting topic and looked at it from a very different viewpoint looking at it from the point of view of someone who got away from the disaster but was affected by it miles away in a different state. 

I found myself devouring this book very quickly and when I did manage to put it down for a few hours, I found myself thinking about the book and thinking about Rusty and Anat. 

As with all of Catherine Ryan Hyde books, it is a fantastic read which will have people talking about it for many weeks and months to come.

I received this book from the publishers, Doubleday, and as part of the Amazon Vine programme. 

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