Aciman, Andre. “Find Me: A Novel”, Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 2019.
When Andre Aciman’s “Call Me By Your Name” came out in 2007,I read the entire novel in an afternoon and then dried my eyes for what seemed to be a very long time. I fell in love with the characters and with Aciman’s gorgeous prose. Then a few years later, I saw the beautiful film of the book and once more I was reduced to tears. As I read I was amazed at how a straight writer could describe gay sex and love. As I watched the film that amazement was still there. Now we have the sequel and I am still amazed. Aciman captures the nature of love so beautifully that it becomes emotional even for those of us who read about it.
Years later, Samuel, Elio’s father, Samuel, is on a on a trip from Florence to Rome to visit Elio, now a gifted classical pianist. Samuel meets a beautiful young woman and changes and his plans. Soon after, Elio soon moves to Paris, where he has a consequential affair. Oliver is now a New England college professor with a family but suddenly thinks about returning to Europe where he and Elio once shared their love for each other. We read about the lives of Elio and Oliver during the years (20) they spent apart and Aciman captures these through scenes and themes of loneliness, love and how it is to lead a half-life hoping for an end to unbearable solitariness.
Twenty years after Elio and Oliver’s summer, Oliver is estranged from his wife and Samuel is dead. Aciman knows how to write passion with all of its details and nuances. Do we think that Oliver and Elio will come back together? Since we have to wait until the end of October find out, It is your guess here now. Using themes of “fatherhood, music, the nature of time and fate, the weight and promise of the past”, Aciman is able to make them come alive by the use of tenderness and eroticism.