I initially purchased this book as a gift; but after reading the first page I could not bring myself to part with this exceptional novel. It is certainly a book that should be on your book shelve or e-reader!
An Italian Costal Villa sets the scene for an uncertain relationship that blooms between a young lad and a summer houseguest – an introduction that compels you to keep reading. Endless pages of comprehensive description allow you to feel and envisage a fond attraction between Elio and the guest who has ‘skin as smooth as the underside of a lizard’s belly’. Aciman writes with a great personal touch, all emotions are described meticulously; it’s like reading your own affectionate feelings on paper. Before the mystery lover departs for the states the pair elope on a trip to Rome. In a strange city they become inseparable sharing each other’s possessions’ and enjoying book parties and cocktail drinks together – sounds like a spectacular getaway.
This first-person flashback story shares the initial fears that come with same-sex attraction and social acceptance. Clever allusions to the way that humans manipulate and flirt give us the opportunity to see beyond our sceptical actions. I absolutely love how Aciman has subtly incorporated rather obscene raunchy aspects to this novel which adds a great amount of flavour to parts to this heavy going book. Layers of metaphors and imagery make me wonder what it would feel like if you called me by your name?
Andre Aciman has stirred emotions that I never knew existed, a definite must read for all the romance lovers!