Book Review: Lie With Me by Philippe Besson

Why should you read this book?

What a wonderful, sensitive and poignant short book! I am absolutely in love with Lie With Me by Philippe Besson. I don’t usually like to make comparisons between books. But, when I say that this book reminded me of Call Me By Your Name, I mean it in the best way possible.  As Aciman’s book, this is a poetic, delicate yet penetrating short novel about two young men who are falling in love. Although Lie With Me reminded me of Aciman’s acclaimed novel, it stands perfectly on its own.

Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back at the relationship he’s never forgotten, a hidden affair with a gorgeous boy named Thomas during their last year of high school. Without ever acknowledging they know each other in the halls, they steal time to meet in secret, carrying on a passionate, world-altering affair.

The prose was so beautifully written that I read aloud half of this book. I only feel the need to do this when I am absolutely in love with the words, the feelings the text exudes, the atmosphere, everything. It felt like the most beautiful and tender melody. Lie With Me is bewitching and moving. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

I’d like to thank Scribner Books for sending a review copy. You can buy the book here.

“He says: I have hands made for gold and they’re in shit.”

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Summary:

We drive at high speed along back roads, through woods, vineyards, and oat fields. The bike smells like gasoline and makes a lot of noise, and sometimes I’m frightened when the wheels slip on the gravel on the dirt road, but the only thing that matters is that I’m holding on to him, that I’m holding on to him outside.

Just outside a hotel in Bordeaux, Philippe chances upon a young man who bears a striking resemblance to his first love. What follows is a look back at the relationship he’s never forgotten, a hidden affair with a gorgeous boy named Thomas during their last year of high school. Without ever acknowledging they know each other in the halls, they steal time to meet in secret, carrying on a passionate, world-altering affair.

Dazzlingly rendered in English by Ringwald in her first-ever translation, Besson’s powerfully moving coming-of-age story captures the eroticism and tenderness of first love—and the heartbreaking passage of time.

Book Details:

Publisher: Scribner Books (Simon & Schuster)
Published on: April 2019
Format: Hardback
Pages: 160
Price: $25.00

4 stars

 

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