Elio believes he has left behind his first love – but as an affair with an older man intensifies, his thoughts turn to the past and to Oliver.
Oliver, a college professor, husband and father, is preparing to leave New York. The imminent trip stirs up longing and regret, awakening an old desire and propelling him towards a decision that could change everything.
In Call Me By Your Name, we fell in love with Oliver and Elio. Find Me returns to these unforgettable characters, exploring how love can ripple out from the past and into the future.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel about this book after not enjoying Call Me By Your Name when I read it a few years ago. However, I was intrigued by Find Me, especially when I found out it contained a story about Elio’s dad. The discussion Elio has with his dad in Call Me By Your Name was one of my favourite parts of the book, so when I heard I could read more about him I jumped at the chance.
However, I unfortunately can’t say I enjoyed this much more. It was mainly quite bland and just okay. I read it mostly on audiobook (probably around 80% and 20% physical) and I’m glad I did. Although Aciman’s writing is very beautiful, it is quite deep and therefore difficult to get through in my opinion. Reading the audiobook definitely helped with this!
Each of us is like a moon that shows only a few facets to earth, but never its full sphere.
I’ve heard a lot of readers were disappointed by this book because they expected more Elio and Oliver, and I can see why. The first half of the book follows Samuel, Elio’s dad, which I actually enjoyed the most. He meets a woman by chance on a train, called Miranda, and they fall in love in a whirlwind 24 hour journey. Although I felt it was quite unrealistic, I loved the stark honesty of their feelings for each other and some of the discussions they had. However, the romance did feel odd at times, in the pure desire and love they felt for each other merely hours after having met. There was also some incredibly odd and problematic scenes and discussions between them, including some very problematic discussions of sex and abuse.
Elio’s story follows, and then Oliver’s. They are all set years after Call Me By Your Name, and I think Oliver’s section was set 20 years after. I quite enjoyed Elio’s story, which was also a whirlwind romance with a strange amount of mystery surrounding a sheet of music, which it became clear was the idea for the chapters of the book. The relationship in Elio’s section felt more realistic, but was not without it’s problems in discussion.
Oliver’s section of the book showed him married, but seemingly fantasising at length about a threesome with two of his friends. This just felt uncomfortable and conflicting to the story. We eventually end the book with the characters all coming together, in a way.
Most of us never meet those who’ll understand our full rounded self. I show people only that sliver of me I think they’ll grasp.
As I felt about Call Me By Your Name, this book was very problematic in some of it’s discussion and in a lot of ways, feels like a way for the author to play out his own very weird fantasies. Although I did enjoy some elements of this book, including the beautiful setting and beautiful writing, there was just too many problems for me to enjoy it.
2.5 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽