Afternoon of the Faun, by James Lasden
For those who like a good read with a political spark, Afternoon of the Faun is a riveting story fueled by current issues. Author James Lasden writes a compelling and disturbing story about a rape accusation. In it, respected author Marco Rosedale learns late in his career that a former friend and colleague, Julia, has written a memoir in which she accuses him of assault on a night forty years earlier while they were drunk in a hotel room. The story follows the internal turmoil of the accused through the eyes of a close friend, who is torn between sides. Lasden explores the helplessness that a man can feel when his career and reputation are on the precipice of ruin. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that Marco is caring, responsible, and intelligent. Consequently, Marco’s friend and the reader wonder if it is possible that he committed a deed so terrible. Afternoon of the Faun is a timely, on point read for any man or woman in the age of the #MeToo movement. I read this book with interest and curiosity and couldn’t stop turning the pages: not because it was amazingly dramatic or particularly troublesome, but because it was so realistic. In the end, there were only two people in the hotel room that night. No one will ever know the whole story. Faun lingers in a way that keeps the reader thinking long after they put down the book. Afternoon of the Faun is a mystery and a political drama that deserves a place on every to-read list.
Afternoon of the Faun can be ordered through local bookstore Phoenix Books.
Published in 2019 by W. W. Norton Company.
Call Me by Your Name, Andre Acliman
Andre Acliman’s Call Me by Your Name is set in the 1980s on the Italian Riviera. We follow the romantic story of 17-year-old Elio as he navigates the boredom and heat of another summer. Elio is young, talented, presumptuous, and insecure, in the way that many teenagers are. Then, there is Oliver; a young professor from the United States, who comes to study and write with Elio’s father. Oliver, on the contrary to Elio, is mature, sophisticated, and instantly likable. As the two become friends, Elio develops an undeniable attraction to Oliver, and an internal struggle to understand himself. The book becomes a struggle of denial and desire, as Elio decides whether to confess his emotions or suffer in silence. The story follows the relationship between the two young men; one of beauty, confusion, and youthful adventure. This book is beautifully sensual in a way that is alluring to any reader. Whether the two are swimming in the river or biking down a dirt road, each word is carefully chosen and beautifully written. Both relaxing and elegant, Call Me by Your Name is a coming-of-age story that is written with unusual grace.
Call me By Your Name can be found in local bookstores Barnes and Noble and Phoenix Books.
Published in 2007 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.