Book Reviews

Top Ten Tuesday: Love Freebie: Cross-Generational Romances: The Best Older Man, Younger Woman love stories

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The older man! He’s always attracted me. But not the “Sugar Daddy” type. The genuine article.

Gone With the Wind, in addition to the things people criticize it for being (all deserved except the absurd marital rape accusation), is at heart a romance. Scarlett O’Hara is in love with an older man–Ashley Wilkes. But she is really in love with Rhett Butler. She kids herself all along until she looses Rhett that it is really the lovely, dreamy, blonde-haired, cultured Ashley that she loves. Ashley knows the truth but has moments of weakness. Rhett knows the truth but gets his gut full. Sad, because Scarlett was made for Rhett and Rhett, who grew up exactly the same way and in the same generation as Ashley, was made for Scarlett. Gone With the Wind, absolutely provided my gateway to the older man and probably proved the Victorians right–reading romances ruins girls for what is really available. I’d rather have Rhett!

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New to me in 2021 was the work of Shirley Hazzard. Aldred Leith and Helen Driscoll meet innocently but come to fall in love when in occupied Japan. I loved this book. You can read my review here: The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard.

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In a fictionalized version of a real affair, an over-the-hill Hemingway write of an over-the-hill Colonel enjoying a last fling with a lovely young woman in Italy. I loved this one, too, though I can see why many people do not. My review: Across the River and into the Trees.

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New to me in 2021, this lovely Victorian tale captures the true heart of romance and of a woman’s beauty being her character. How could Lord Walderhurst think of marrying and begetting a late-in-life heir with anyone but the very moral, very generous Miss Emily Fox-Seton? Unthinkable. She was made to comfort a loving husband and to proudly wear the ermine and velvet. The Making of a Marchioness (my review is linked).

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A good woman wants to be taken care of; a good man wants the job. That’s the story in essence. A Virtuous Woman was oh so good–and so believable.

 

Other than GWTW, I hold Cary Grant responsible as well for my older man fixation. That, and the afternoon movie on whichever channel it was in the 1970s on which my Mom, my brother and I sat out the Central Indiana summer heat watching classics like:

These movies made Cary Grant the darling of women of all ages–even a teenager like me.

You can read my posts on real-life cross-generational romances here:

Lady Kitty Spencer and Michael Lewis

Lady Charlotte Wellesley and Alejandro Santo Domingo

Anthony and Clarissa Eden (Lord and Lady Avon)

Pierre and Margaret Trudeau

Andrea Mitchell and Alan Greenspan

President Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom

Princess Mary and Viscount Lascelles (later the Earl of Harewood) –Ignore the stupid storyline in the Downton Abbey movie. They were not forced to marry, the had many interests in common, and were quite happy!

Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart

Book review: Margot in Love and War: Love and Betrayal in Downing Street

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Check out the rules at That Artsy Reader Girl and join in next week!

 

18 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Love Freebie: Cross-Generational Romances: The Best Older Man, Younger Woman love stories

  1. Ellen Foster was on my to-read list and now Virtuous Woman is too. I’ve never thought a lot about cross generational romances (well, other than when I read your posts!), but I can see the appeal. I agree too about great books ruining reality for many of us … :/ good list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, what a cool topic! I haven’t thought about GWTW in terms of romance with an older man, but of course it makes total sense. For myself, the older man as love interest works much more strongly for me in movies than in books, for whatever reason — maybe just seeing the attractiveness! (Movie crushes include Ciaran Hinds (Rome-era), and I’ve always had a soft spot for Donald Sutherland at any age, to name but a couple…)

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  3. I loved both the Gone With the Wind book and movie. And also enjoyed A Virtuous Woman. I have read several of Kaye Gibbons’ books and liked all of them. Loved your list.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m loving all the various topics everyone has chosen this week. I know I have The Virtuous Woman on my bookcase at home and of course read Gone With the Wind, but none of the others, so will see if any call to me. Great choice, Lisa.

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