The Love of My Youth, by Mary Gordon

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Ever wondered what happened to The Love of [Your] Youth? Did you impact their lives in any way? Where are they now? Have they become the people they once hoped to become? What would happen if you met them again? Would they still remember you? Could that old love be rekindled, and would it be wise to do so? These are the sort of quasi-existential ideations that Mary Gordon has masterfully conjured in her latest novel, The Love of My Youth, while simultaneously taking the reader on a trip to the beautiful city of Rome.

“Emotionally engaging and smoothly flowing, The Love of My Youth showcases Gordon’s power to write with controlled urgency, without dissembling or exaggeration, to reveal truths that are hard to face in the unsparing light of day, but without which we could not see ourselves as we are.”—Liesl Schillinger, The New York Times Book Review

“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

It is Mary Gordon doing what she does best—showcasing humanity at their most susceptible and raw by transporting the reader into unknown territories. She does so beautifully here by taking two high school sweethearts, who have long since not seen each other, and serendipitously having them reunite 30 years later in the city of Rome. Juxtaposing this hard re-evaluation of love and loss against a beautiful city as its canvas, make the story all the more enchanting. And in the end, what will happen to these old lovers? Will they be changed forever, forgive, forget, or simply move on? No matter what the outcome for Adam and Miranda, you’ll get to walk away having seen Rome through a new set of eyes, and a second chance to revisit your own first love.