Have you ever wondered what it's like to be worshipped from afar? If so, step back and digest Elio's feelings for Oliver – I was both moved and filled with admiration by the experience. If you're looking for a pacy thriller or a knife-edge murder, this isn't it. Probably not the best choice if you're going through a relationship crisis either. But it's a powerful read - sexually charged (without being too graphic) from beginning to the end.
For two days our conversations came to a sudden halt.
On the long balcony that both our bedrooms shared, total avoidance: just a makeshift hello, good morning, nice weather, shallow chitchat.
Then, without explanation, things resumed.
Did I want to go jogging this morning? No, not really. Well, let's swim, then.
Today, the pain, the stoking, the thrill of someone new, the promise of so much bliss hovering a fingertip away, the fumbling around people I might misread and don't want to lose and must second-guess at every turn, the desperate cunning I bring to everyone I want and crave to be wanted by, the screens I put up as though between me and the world there were not just one but layers of rice-paper sliding doors, the urge to scramble and un-scramble what was never really coded in the first place - all these started the summer Oliver came into our house. They are embossed on every song that was a hit that summer, in every novel I read during and after his stay, on anything from the smell of rosemary on hot days to the frantic rattle of the cicadas in the afternoon - smells and sounds I'd grown up with and known every year of my life until then but that had suddenly turned on me and acquired an inflection forever colored by the events of that summer.