• The Love of My Youth

  • By: Mary Gordon
  • Narrated by: Alice Rosengard
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • 2.7 out of 5 stars (41 ratings)

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The Love of My Youth  By  cover art

The Love of My Youth

By: Mary Gordon
Narrated by: Alice Rosengard
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Publisher's Summary

From the acclaimed author of Pearl and Final Payments comes a beautifully choreographed novel about first lovers meeting again after more than 30 years and reimmersing themselves in their shared past.

Miranda and Adam, high-school sweethearts now in their late 50s, 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.

©2011 Mary Gordon (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“Virtuoso and versatile Gordon offers brilliantly fresh takes on family conflicts, women’s lives, war, and global suffering while ingeniously meshing classic love stories with modern mores, and ecstasy with wisdom, to create an enthralling drama of innocent passion, crushing tragedy, and the careful construction of stable, nurturing lives." (Booklist)
"Thoughtful and moving, Gordon's latest captures the ardor and vulnerability of young love and the cautious circumspection of middle age.... An accumulation of detail breathes life into her characters, and the writer's affection for this beloved, eternal city is endearing." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Love of My Youth

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

The Love of my youth

Probably the worst narrator ever. The book, shining through the awful narrator, is probably worth reading, but the irritation generated by listening to it is more than anyone should bear.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

narrator

I am a fan of Mary Gordon's and it was satisfying to read a newspaper review, buy the audible version and experience it all in a few days. The prose did not disappoint and I related to the book on many satisfying levels. I found the voice Alice Rosengard uses for Adam increasingly annoying and it seemed a negative judgement on him where I would have preferred a neutral point of view. I would have preferred a male voice for Adam. It's a good, clear and unedited reading of the book, but not an excellent performance.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Terribly Narrated, Insipid Story

This story, written by an author I have always enjoyed in the past, was very insipid and implausable. The "bad" people were so bad (Adam's first wife and adult son) and the "good" were so very good (Adam's mother and Saint Miranda, the star of the story). The seemingly endless dialogue was totally unbelievable and skipped from speaker to speaker with little helpful transition. But the narration was the factor which caused me to despise these self-absorbed, boring characters the most. How incredibly tiresome, whiney, and emotionally overwrought Rosengard made everything. I won't listen to a book again read by this reader.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

Mary Gordon has a very facile way of developing dialogue between her characters. They had real and ordinary conversations. I loved all the words! Such beautiful words! The narrator was excellent and portrayed the low keyed emotion that old lovers might exhibit when meeting again for the first time in forty years. And they meet in Rome, morning after morning, for long walks and visits to favorite places. Both are there for a few weeks for different purposes, hers professional and his for his musically gifted daughter. I love Rome and recognized so many of the enchanting places so lovingly described in the novel. I highly recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Lovely

It took awhile to get to know these characters, but once there, it all came together beautifully. It helps to have some perspective of age and an appreciation for the relationship between art and life to fully feel this book's soul. I had serious doubts that a conversation between two people could keep me going for the whole book, but it did, and by the end, I was so pleased to have listened in. Nicely narrated, which was a challenge here.

1 person found this helpful