I find myself doing something a little strange when getting books out from the library lately. Instead of fumbling blindly around trying to find something in the genre that I usually like while also attempting to watch my tazmanian devil of a son, I am heading straight to the A shelf and simply working my way through it. A little OCD? Maybe but it sure makes my trip to the library a lot less stressful.
Anyway because of this I find myself reading books I wouldn’t have chosen in a million years to read normally and you know what? It’s the best fun I’ve had in awhile. It’s challenging and different and ultimately very refreshing.
This book, for instance, is about a gay love affair between a young seventeen year old boy and twenty four year old professor who comes to stay at his house for a summer. Not my usual reading material I will admit but guess what? It wasn’t half bad.
It could quite possibly have been because it was so different that I enjoyed it. The infatuation that Elio felt for Oliver was so all-consuming it was fascinating. He thought about him constantly but somehow still managed to retain his dignity and never came across as desperate or needy. The surroundings of a scenic Italian town was so romantic and atmospheric it made the whole experience more believable and real.
Sure the book had its flaws, at times I almost gave up as it seemed the author could be so long winded. The sole focus of the book is the relationship between Elio and Oliver and there are no subplots or underlying stories to be found. There are other characters of course but none that we even get half as acquainted with as we do with the main couple. This is tough going at times as there is no break from the extreme fascination and lust that Elio feels for Oliver. However I feel now that it all just added to the intensity of their relationship. They focus on no one and nothing but their feelings for each other.
It was a strange read, I’m not sure I would read anything from this author again but it was different and that’s a good thing in itself. I enjoyed the intensity of the couples relationship but not how drawn out it was. Interesting.