This is not
one of those books where I cried all the way through. I didn’t cry at all in fact. Until I realized it was over. And the fact that it ended where it did, how it did, destroyed me. And now, a few days later as I read other people’s updates of this book and the quotes they are including, I realize the significance of those moments I may have missed before and I get emotional all over again. The fact that so many years later Elio has never found love was more than I could deal with. I could accept that he wasn’t with Oliver. I could accept that Oliver had moved on but still had place in his heart for Elio. I am glad that Elio was not pining away for Oliver, because that wouldn’t have been realistic. Maybe Elio was happy in his life despite never having loved. But the thought of it is overwhelming. Even now a few days later I feel the tears welling up in my eyes.
The emotions aside, this was a beautifully written story. The words were chosen with care, the flow was exquisite. Especially in Part I, the lack of chronology was mesmerizing. When we remember the past and the feelings it evokes, the memories don’t always replay themselves on a straight time line. The author effectively captured this sense of memory without being confusing.
I didn’t always like Elio or Oliver. I didn’t understand their actions. I didn’t really like their relationship a lot of the time. I don’t think I was supposed to. They were both flawed. Neither really appreciated what might have been. Neither understood the depth of the regrets they might have for lack of trying.
As a general rule I don’t reread books. Will I read this one again? Nick says I will, but I am not sure. The first time through the power of the words was subtle. A second reading of this book where their full meaning would be truly understood would likely kill me.
So why not 5 stars? There were several scenes toward the end that were, in my opinion, overwritten. Others were superfluous and could have been cut out. A few of them were downright distracting. But still I loved this book. A lot.