“He was staring at me. This, I think, is the first time I dared myself to stare back at him. Usually, I’d cast a glance and then look away — look away because I didn’t want to swim in the lovely, clear pool of his eyes unless I’d been invited to — and I never waited long enough to know whether I was even wanted there; look away because I was too scared to stare anyone back; look away because I didn’t want to give anything away; look away because I couldn’t acknowledge how much he mattered.”
This was such a beautiful book. I wasn’t really sure where this was going to lead and it was magical. There were times where this shattered my heart, overfilled it with joy and left me with a feeling of pure sadness. The way it ended had me screaming at it all while I was at work. And yes, I did get a few stares but I think people knew what I was going through.
Elio and Oliver were two characters who you instantly bond with. While being in their cheering squad, I also wanted to tell Elio that your first everything never turns out the way you want it to, but I think he handles things exceptionally well for his age. But still, the endearment that they shared was soul touchingly charming.
I really wanted something more for Oliver and Elio that kept them together. But I know that if we all got what we wanted then this wouldn’t have been as enjoyable. It was perfectly paced and left us with a wanting that was fulfilled when Oliver came back to the Villa twenty years down the road.
What bothered me a bit was the obsession that Elio had when it came to Oliver. It was borderline psychotic at times. But it makes me think when I was his age and was crushing/dating, someone. We’ve all been there. We wouldn’t want to admit it but we’ve had similar situations in our lives and we may have handled them differently. Elio took things to an entire new cringe-worthy level.
This was an intoxicating read and I hope the film holds the same effect on me. Between the gorgeous scenery, the deep fondness, and the family, I think they both will be instant classics. Ones that I will be talking about for years to come.
*I have officially seen the film twice this weekend and I’m obsessed with the story of Elio and Oliver. The book and the film as a combination makes their story more meaningful. Everyone needs to go out to see this film and fall in love all over again.*