Posted in Book Review, Books I have read, Five Star Reads

Sixteen Sixty-One – Natalie Lucas

Memoir 5*'s
Memoir
5*’s

I came across this book via a blog (unfortunately now deleted) and was intrigued by the concept of such a large age-gap.   I know this isn’t what you instantly think of as a good beach read, but I loved it!  This book was simultaneously what I expected and something entirely different to how I thought it would be presented.

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 and even better it is very well written!  It is entertaining and seeringly honest,  a winning combination.

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. A word of warning for those who don’t like explicit sex in their reading matter, this won’t be for you!

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. For those readers in the UK this is currently available on kindle for a bargain 99p.

Author:

A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

8 thoughts on “Sixteen Sixty-One – Natalie Lucas

  1. Hmmmm… I’m not sure about this one. I wonder if the “ick factor” would be too much for me. I don’t mind sex in books, but I’m thinking that such a huge age difference–especially with the younger being below the age of consent– might put me off of this one. But that’s just me! I’m going to have to think about this one. . .

    1. I get where you are coming from – she was above the age of consent but it clearly was an abusive relationship which Natalie illustrates really well without saying ‘Poor me!’ As an adult it is quite clear what he was doing but she manages to show that at 16 it wouldn’t be obvious. It is really well written and I enjoyed it but it won’t be for anyone.

      1. There’s a cultural difference at work here–in the US the age of consent is 18, and in the US a sexual relationship between a 16 year old and anyone over the age of 18 could be criminally prosecuted. Different countries–different norms, right?

        1. Yes that was the point I was trying to make (not very clearly) The book is set in UK and the law here is 16 unless the other person is in a position of trust e.g. a teacher and then it is 18. Truth is I think it is rare that anyone gets prosecuted unless it is teacher pupil relationship which is more obviously abusive. That said the huge age difference would have raised eyebrows but it was a secret….

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