I had rather a hard time with this memoir. For me this was a 3 star read and it just wasn’t one of those books that turned out as I had hoped.
I had trouble with the 44 year old age difference between the main characters. I know it happens but there is just something weird to me about such a huge age gap. To me, it was rather a hard look at what can and does happen sometimes. For me this isn't about romance, this is about abuse. The author gives us an ELDERLY man (putting it nicely) taking his authority to the limit and using it as abuse to persuade an innocent girl into a relationship that to me is over the top.
Sixteen, Sixty-One showcases a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Natalie was right there in that wrong place. She was a typical teenager with all the problems and issues that go with that. Matthew caught on to that and helped her through the troubled times, being a friend. It needs to be said that there was never any force, it appeared to be love. But I just find this type of situation a big NO NO. A few years difference is OK, but so many years difference just is not. Seeing it happen should be a huge stop light. A go to jail and don't pass go situation.
In Sixteen, Sixty-One the author wrote a coming of age story. Natalie grew up, went to college, studied and traveled to different countries. She constantly had questions about her sexuality and her self-worth.
She was possibly saved by getting away from Matthew and going to America. Her eyes started to open real wide and she realized it must stop and stop immediately. We definitely had an OLD man who had some majorly big problems, which he sadly passed on to Natalie. I hope she turned out OK. But what will happen down the road when she goes for a real relationship with a man she truly loves? Will she be OK with that?
Sadly to say this started out with a really sick old man. The author wrote a real life story that rather read like fiction.
Whenever you play with fire, someone gets burned, at least I think so.
Sixteen, Sixty-one is the powerful and shocking true story of an illicit intergenerational affair, in the vein of Nikki Gemmell and Lynn Barber.
Natalie Lucas was just 16 when she began a close relationship with an older family friend. Matthew opened Natalie’s mind and heart to philosophy, literature and art. Within months they had begun an intense, erotic affair disguised as an innocent intergenerational friendship. They mocked their small town’s busybodies, laughing at plebs like her parents and his in-laws, all of whom were too blinkered to look beyond the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave. They alone danced in the sunshine outside.
Or so Nat believed until she decided to try living a normal life.
Written with striking candor and a remarkable lack of sentimentally, SIXTEEN, SIXTY-ONE is more than an account of illicit romance; it is the gripping story of a young girl’s sexual awakening and journey into womanhood.