Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.
Call Me By Your Name
It isn’t a novel at all, really; it’s more like a sensuous love song. Elio, a young man vacationing at his parents’ villa in Italy, becomes entranced by a scholar, invited for the summer to work on a translation of his book and to help Elio’s professor father with his correspondence. The two young men are bound by physical attraction but also by so much more: their Jewishness, their love of literature and their complementary lives-of-the-mind. They have amorous adventures with women, as well, but the yearning and longing for one another and the ultimate erotic consummation transform each forever. The author’s extraordinary use of language evokes long, luxurious sun-drenched days by the sea, first love, deep intimacy, and the foreverness of youth. The whole piece, read start to finish (and it’s hard to put down once begun) flows and ebbs, waxes and wanes like life and love and endless summer days.
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