By André Aciman
I wouldn’t call Find Me a sequel to Call Me By Your Name (CMBYN). It feels more as an extension of the first book. This is no longer Elio and Oliver’s sole story. We are reintroduced to Elio’s father, for a large part of this book. It only becomes Elio and Oliver’s story in the last few pages of the book. Nonetheless, this should not put you off in any way at all. It is still a good read and the author’s style of writing is worth admiring, along with his extensive knowledge of history and classical music.
This book received mixed reviews, with some readers saying CMBYN should have been left alone and that Elio and Oliver’s ending was perfect in a bittersweet way. I agree with them, but at the same time I was very curious to learn about their lives in the years that followed the summer romance. The book didn’t let me down, though I was disappointed to learn about the Perlmans. My only gripe with this book is there is no storyline with Elio’s mother. She’s simply non-existent, except in Sami or Elio’s thought processes. The book felt overtly male dominated. It would also have been interesting to see the relationship between Oliver and his wife, which we didn’t get to see, but we got the impression of the married life through Oliver’s thought process.
It is split into four parts, all with musically themed titles. This book follows the love of classical music, which flows from one Perlman member to another. Each part follows a timeline that jumps ahead into the future. I enjoyed the conversational flow of this book, especially the first part. It reminded me of the movie Before Sunrise, where two people walk around the city, talking with one another. This conversational flow continues in the second part. The final two parts seem to either be living in a haze of a memory and allows for occasional conversation.
The ending is interesting, with Elio’s admission of his father (I don’t want to spoil it) and Oliver saying, “so I do, so do I”. That was truly a touching moment for me. Overall, I enjoyed the book and was somewhat satisfied with the conclusion of Elio and Oliver’s story.