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Sixteen, Sixty-One Paperback – 6 Jun 2013
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‘Brave, intelligent and remarkable’ Caroline Smailes, author of Like Bees to Honey
‘The most striking thing about the book ― apart from the fact that a man could seduce a child with no one realising ― is how well-written it is.’ The Times
‘a brave, frightening memoir that grips as you shudder.’ David Belbin, author of Love lessons
About the Author
Natalie Lucas currently lives in the North of England.
Top customer reviews
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I knew from the blurb that it was the story of Natalie Lucas who at sixteen embarked on a relationship with a family friend of sixty-one. What I didn't expect was such a rich tale covering so much more than `just' the relationship.
Told by Natalie this isn't a book of a woman expressly blaming the man in question for grooming and manipulating her; instead it left to the reader to draw their own conclusions from the apparently honest appraisal of what happened. That said of course each reader will bring their own history and preconceived ideas to the table.
This story will resonate with anyone who has kept a secret, lied to keep a secret, dealt with a manipulative partner or been in the eye-of-the-storm when a relationship breaks down.
Natalie's story is all the more powerful for the seeming lack of over-dramatisation or projecting her adult-self onto the pages, which lest we forget, is about a very young girl.
A fascinating read which I devoured whilst silently urging the young Natalie to realise what was happening to her.
I couldn't put this book down- it's very well written too. I loved the American section, when Natalie puts distance between her and Matthew and travels across the states in a bus.
All the best to her now, and I can't wait for her next book.
It is very well written, an absolutely gripping tale, but one that is deeply disturbing because of the nature of the subject matter.
Yet it was well over ten years ago that silver fox and family friend Matthew befriended fifteen year old Natalie at his sixtieth birthday party and started a chain of events that began with the innocent discussion of literature and philosophy but went on to damage the author's teenage years and early adulthood to the extent that it is a miracle that she has been able to confront what happened to her and come through the other side with her sanity intact and the ability to write her compelling story (I started reading and did not put it down until I finished). As a grey haired male who enjoys reading and the odd flutter and is very fast approaching sixty I have a few things in common with Matthew but, whilst the ability to appreciate an attractive female never fades, I hope that people like him who prey on innocent and vulnerable children are always going to be in a very tiny minority and are far from typical of my generation.
I don't want to spoil the book by telling you exactly what happened to Natalie as she tells the story so graphically herself, so all I will say is this is a book that will shock and intrigue you. Were it a novel it would certainly entertain you but the knowledge that you are reading about real events and the beautiful final chapter are more likely to make you cry.
I read this out of morbid curiosity - the idea of a sixteen year old girl having a relationship with a sixty year old man is insane to me - I figured this was a case of twisted sexual grooming and got on with the book. I get this was a "memoir" but straight away i realised this was very repetitive. And whilst I don't feel right saying I wanted to be entertained by this - I found it very boring. A lot of talk about English literature, the theatre, poetry and university courses. I couldn't stand any thing about this.
The book chronicles the change from platonic, to love, to an erotic affair. Natalie offers candid opinion, in a focused account that never seeks pity. This is not a book for those who judge, as this is a brave and honest account of sexual awakening and that journey from teen into adulthood.
The gripping aspects emerge when Natalie decides to try living a normal life. For me this memoir isn't harrowing, it isn't a sex-diary or a misery-memoir, instead it's brave, intelligent and remarkable. It's the true story of a lonely teenager, one who doesn't quite fit in. It's a story about manipulation, scare tactics and love. And, above all else, it's a story of personal growth. It is really rather beautiful.
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