Call Me By Your Name - Andre Aciman
This was recommended to me by a friend who has very similar tastes to me when it comes to fiction. I read it first last year and then when I saw it on the shelf in the library I knew I had to read it again.
It is a love story set during a few crazy weeks in the Italian summer. It doesn't matter that this is an unconventional love story, between a teenager and a slightly older man, nor that the teenager is also male. It is simply a book about the madness and obsession that is first love.
The writing is so good that as you read the book you feel you are in a hot Italian summer. I read it on a typical English August day (cold and wet!) but I was transported to Italy, I could feel the Mediterranean heat soak into me as I was reading, I could have been sitting on a beach or beside a pool and not on a crowded train.
A little like most first love the passionate affair does come to an end, but in a realistic way that is hopeful and not depressing. The pair always know that there is an end date to their summer and that things will change when Oliver returns to his American life.
This isn't really what could be called a gentle book, at times it is pretty explicit, but to me it felt just right - a true romantic novel.
Aciman has written another novel and I will probably read it soon, but this book was just so perfect that I wonder if another book will be as good.