A Much Younger Man – Dianne Highbridge

If Tracey Garvis Graves’  On the Island was an idealized version of the romance between a teen-aged boy and a woman in her third decade A Much Younger Man by Dianne Highbridge is the real story.

Aly is a teacher and has a distinct air of melancholia about her. She meets Tom on the train coming home from work and cannot place him at first, he is the 15 year old son of a once close friend from whom she has drifted away. Aly is not a predator, she doesn’t harbor lascivious thoughts about the children she teaches and Tom is uncommonly mature and cultured for his age. Despite the implausibility of a relationship between a 35 year old woman and a boy 20 years her junior Ms Highbridge has managed to craft a believable, realistic tale.

A woman and a boy catch sight of each other one afternoon on a train, an old man trips, a possum darts across a wet road. These are the things you can never foretell, the true coincidences.

A Much Younger Man

They are two people who do not quite fit into the world they inhabit, Aly is emotionally damaged from an abusive marriage and Tom is the product of two professionals he has been well educated culturally and socially. It still begs the question what would a then 15 year old boy see in a woman who is one of his mother’s peers? But that question isn’t as glaring as it would be in the hands of a less accomplished storyteller. It is inevitable that their relationship would face obstacles perhaps too easily surpassed in On the Island. That being said A Much Younger Man is a strangely compelling thought provoking tale that should not be missed.

AUTHOR: Dianne Highbridge

RATING: 4 1/2 Stars

GENRE: Fiction

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