Like A Boy's Own Story by Edmund White, this is a novel that is written over the head of the youthful audience that is most needful for a book about first love. But this is ultimately a gripping and evocative love story, even if there is something in it that just does not feel like reality. The love between the charismatic visiting scholar and the younger man who idolizes his American breeziness feels like something old and obsessive rather than youthful and liberating. This obsessiveness is implied by the unusual title of the novel. And some might object to the fluidity of the attractions here that leaves women desired but abandoned. Fortunately the middle section of this book contains perhaps the best date in literature, an unforgettable night in Rome. And the parents in this story are wonderfully embracing of the love they are astute enough to see developing in their Italian Riviera salon. Thus, there is much hopefulness in this period love story that seems to pave the way to our own days. The Stern Librarian (I had a love of my own).