Friday, November 1, 2019

Book Review: "Find Me" by Andre Aciman

Find Me was altogether different than I expected, but it was utterly, gloriously moving.

"...the magic of someone new never lasts long enough. We only want those we can’t have. It’s those we lost or who never knew we existed who leave their mark. The others barely echo."

While Find Me is, in essence, a sequel to Call Me By Your Name, for the most part it’s more a book that follows some of the characters. If you go in expecting another whole book about Oliver and Elio you’ll be disappointed.

This is a book about love, longing, all-consuming desire and the fear it might suddenly disappear. It’s also a book about what the heart wants and how strongly it clings to some people and some memories despite the passage of time.

Find Me is a novel with several parts. The first follows Samuel, Elio’s father, as he travels by train to Rome to visit his son, a pianist and teacher. He meets a much younger woman, Miranda, and the two feel a connection more powerful than anything they’ve ever felt. Can the course of your life change so completely because of a stranger?

In the second part, a few years later, Elio has moved to Paris. While attending a concert one evening he meets a much-older man and the two are instantly attracted to each other. Their connection is intense, emotional, and it reminds Elio of the one man he has held in his heart all these years.

The briefer third part follows Oliver as he and his family are preparing to leave their latest academic post. As he considers matters of the heart, he realizes there is one place he needs to be, with the one person whom he still loves completely.

I am and have always been in love with the way Aciman writes. His words are poetic, gorgeous, at times erotic, romantic, and melancholy. That mastery is once again on display in Find Me.

Did I want more Oliver and Elio? Yes. I could’ve used another 100 pages of their story. But this book in its own right is beautiful and poignant, and so worth reading, so I choose to focus on all that it is rather than what it isn’t.

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