When I journeyed to Crandall Library last week, I was crestfallen to discover that the usual rows upon rows of "New Fiction" were pitifully picked over, so much so that I was hard pressed to find anything worth borrowing. Then I remembered the library's big fundraiser booksale was the next day. That explained it. The hordes of bookloving volunteers had scoured the shelves clean while preparing for the sale. Wasted trip. Drat.
Although maybe not. I stumbled on a book I'd borrowed over last Christmas season that I did not have time to read. I couldn't renew it, so I made a mental note to borrow it for next Christmas. But I have it now. And it tempts me beyond all measure. Eight White Nights by Andre Aciman, who received the highest accolades for his debut novel, Call Me by Your Name. (Aciman published several nonfiction books before his first novel--he's a Proust scholar, by the way.)
The Eight White Nights occur between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. As the book blurb states, "A man in his late twenties attends a large Christmas party in Manhattan, where a woman introduces herself with three words: 'I am Clara.' Over the following seven days they meet every evening at the same cinema. Overwhelmed yet cautious, he treads softly and won't hazard a move. The tenion builds gradually, marked by ambivalence, hope, and distrust...they move closer together and further apart, culiminating in a final scene on New Year's Eve charged with magic and the promise of renewal."
Sounds enticing, n'est-ce pas?
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