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When You Were Older [Hardcover]

Catherine Ryan Hyde
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

29 Mar 2012

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.



Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday (29 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857520989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857520982
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,286,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 16 novels including Pay it Forward (which was made into a feature film starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt), Love in the Present Tense (a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller), Chasing Windmills, When I Found You, Second Hand Heart, The Hardest Part of Love, Don't Let Me Go, and the forthcoming When You Were Older.

For more information on Catherine Ryan Hyde and her books, see her website at www.catherineryanhyde.com And while you're there, click on "Contact Me" and drop a line to the author, who loves to hear from readers!

Catherine lives in a very small town in California.

She also writes Young Adult novels that are completely suitable for grown-ups, and which her adult readers tend to enjoy as well. They include Becoming Chloe, The Year of my Miraculous Reappearance, The Day I Killed James, Diary of a Witness, and Jumpstart the World.

Product Description

Book Description

Perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Diane Chamberlain, the powerful new novel from the bestselling author of Love in the Present Tense.

From the Inside Flap

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 his brother in 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 long lost brother has reappeared, and Ben's simple, ordered world has turned upside down.

When You Were Older is the extraordinary, moving story of two brothers who must bury their pasts and teach each other to survive . . .


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Life turns on a dime.' 30 Dec 2011
By L. H. Healy TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I loved this story. It's a wonderful, beautifully written tale. I found it compelling from start to finish, and read it very quickly as I couldn't bear to wait to discover what happened. The author has created some lovely characters in Russell and Anat. September 11th 2001 changed many lives. Russell was running late for work at the advertising firm where he was employed, on the 104th floor of the World Trade Centre, New York. Just as he was leaving his apartment, the telephone rang, and after debating it he decided to answer. Upon finding out that his mother has suddenly passed away, and with her gone his brother Ben now has no one but Russell as a carer, he never goes in to work that day. And because of receiving this tragic news in that split second, he lives.

He faces a long journey - with no flights because of the terrible events in NYC - hitch hiking his way back to Norville, Kansas, the place he regards as and refers to as `Nowhere-ville', and thought he had escaped for good when he left six years ago aged eighteen. He can't bring himself to think of it as home anymore. The reactions from the various people he meets on his journey home give us an initial feeling of the shock and response by the man on the street to the enormous events in New York. Further reaction will be evident when Russell arrives home. Everyone in Norville knew Russell as Rusty, and they all know and love his brother Ben, who, although older than Russell, is not capable of living alone, and is reliant on extensive support in his everyday tasks such as getting to his job as a bag packer at the grocery store in the town, getting to bed and up on time. (His dependence is due to an incident which is described in the novel, which I won't spoil here.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and Thoughtful 13 Jan 2012
By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When You Were Older is set in the months after 9/11 - September 2001 and is the story of two brothers and their struggle to survive and thrive in what has become a strange new world for them. Russell is the younger brother, he bailed out of the small sleepy Kansas town that he was brought up in when he was just out of school. Living in New York, working in the World Trade Centre, his life couldn't be more different to that of his brother Ben. Ben still lives in that small town, he is mentally disabled and lives his life to a set routine, day in, day out. Russell receives the call to tell him that his mother has died on the morning of 11 September, the phone call makes him late for work, as he rushes about trying to make up lost time, he glances out of the window and sees smoke pouring from one of the towers of the World Trade Centre. It is at that moment that his life changes forever.
Russell goes back to Kansas. Ben needs to be cared for, but Ben doesn't even understand that their Mom is dead.
This is a truly moving story, the writing is remarkable and enchants the reader. Russell has his faults, and Ben can be incredibly frustrating but Catherine Ryan-Hyde paints a picture of siblings that love and care for each other. It is especially poignant when the reader learns just how Ben came to be brain damaged, and how that incident changed the balance of their relationship.
The character of Anat; an Eygptian girl who works in a local bakery, and helps Russell through this confusing and emotional time is beautifully drawn.
This is a love story, and a story of family dynamics. It is a story about people's reactions to life-changing events, how many people feel the need to have someone to blame. It's about injustices and hate, but also about friendship and loyalty.
A very satisfying read that will stay in my mind for quite a while.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling read 8 Feb 2012
By EssexReader VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I won't repeat the plotline as this has been done in several reviews but just to give my thoughts on the book, I loved it. Russell and Ben are brothers but are so different. Ben is the older by six years however because of brain damage, he is childlike and has to follow a certain daily routine. When Russell returns home to arrange his mother's funeral and to care for Ben, because no-one else will, without any guidance he has to devise his own `manual' on how to deal with Ben's tantrums and difficulties. The frustrations felt by Russell are thoughtfully and carefully dealt with and we have a cast of main characters, Russell, Ben, and Anat, who are believable and have personalities that the reader can care about and the love and affection that these two brothers, in their own way, have for each other shines throughout the story.

In the days following the twin towers collapse, we see how Russell's old school friends and neighbours have a heightened sense of patriotism and rightly or wrongly, the inevitable prejudice and animosity that exist against people who they regard as being against them. Russell finds himself caught between those who want to do harm and his feelings for Anat, the Egyptian daughter of a local baker who he befriends. The result of a drunken attack by his friends one night has life changing consequences for Russell and Ben and Russell is left having to make difficult decisions and forced to move forward with his life

This is a thought provoking and compelling read and one that I would certainly recommend. I look forward to reading more by this author.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb read
Thoroughly enjoyed this unusual book. While beginning with the events of 9/11, it rapidly moves on to a family crisis in small town America. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ellie B
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review
I read this book sometime ago and bought it for my daughter she thought it was very good and well written I tried the only other one she wrote but gave up on it but can't remember... Read more
Published 7 months ago by B.M.Hutchings
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Brilliant book, once you start reading your sucked into an amazing tale of love beyond any boundary where the worst day of your life turns out to bring you happiness
Published 15 months ago by holly
4.0 out of 5 stars A moving story
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. Read more
Published 17 months ago by SusieH
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and engaging
Loved, loved, LOVED this book. I never knew what was going to happen and there were several surprises along the way that kept me flipping the pages. Read more
Published 18 months ago by W. Sparrow
4.0 out of 5 stars Rainman post 9/11
I enjoyed this book mainly because of its good old-fashioned story-telling. From chapter to chapter it pulled me along quickly and easily always wanting to know what happened... Read more
Published 20 months ago by daisyrock
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting post 9/11 tale of love and loss
This is a novel which doesn't make me want to visit any small towns in America. The few I've been to scared me. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Mrs. R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Decadent reading
The plot has been given many times, but I must join the chorus of reviewers in singing this book's praises. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Dinah85
5.0 out of 5 stars When You Were Older
A brilliant, thought provoking and emotional read...based post 9/11 and centres around several aspects of the same lives.... Read more
Published on 22 Jun 2012 by Fiona Massey
5.0 out of 5 stars Patriotism and racism
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... Read more
Published on 16 May 2012 by kehs
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