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What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

Created: 08/31/20

Replies: 12

Posted Aug. 31, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 3058

What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

The book begins with a conversation between Miranda and Samuel, who are strangers. What is your first impression of them? Why, in your opinion, are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening, given that the story ultimately belongs to Elio and Oliver? Do you initiate conversations with strangers or know someone who does, and if so, have any of these encounters led to a long-lasting relationship?


Posted Sep. 02, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
EddieVanFlaylin

Join Date: 09/02/20

Posts: 2

First impression of Miranda and Samuel?

As an older man, the premise of a beautiful young stranger becoming a lover, then life partner just seemed incredulous to me, the stuff of midlife fantasy. I assumed it was going to lead to some kind of a con, or a scam. I saw nothing in Samuel that made him particularly attractive. Perhaps it was his financial resources, i.e. a beach house. I don’t know. I didn’t feel it set up the next two sections in any meaningful way other than setting the stage for the next May-December romance.


Posted Sep. 02, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
judyw

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 65

RE: What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

I agree with EddieVan Flaylin's remarks. It was incredulous that Miranda even looked twice at Samuel on the train. Later, she did learn a little about him and his assists. I also thought the author was setting a con or scam.


Posted Sep. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 668

What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

I felt like the author very much wanted Elio and Oliver to end up together, with a child. The romance between Miranda and Samuel set that up, producing the child that the pair would ultimately help raise. Having Samuel name the child Oliver, after his son's lover, who hadn't been in the picture for decades, seems to bear that out.

Regarding random conversations with strangers, my husband does this all the time (or at least did, before the pandemic) - in the grocery store, out for a hike, on the bus... My mom is the same way, and once said that she finds everyone really interesting. I'm afraid I'm just the opposite; I don't strike up conversations with people who I'll likely never see again.


Posted Sep. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolf

Join Date: 07/10/14

Posts: 68

RE: What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

I thought that the relationship felt very forced. It moved so quickly and in rather stereotypical ways that this first section of the book left me rather dreading the remainder. (It did get better thankfully).

Yes, I talk to strangers all the time. Just while waiting in line or sitting next to someone. Sometimes you can just tell when someone is having a hard time and a smile and a simple comment may help.


Posted Sep. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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megg

Join Date: 05/06/20

Posts: 2

RE: What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

I think the author chose this opening scene, intentionally. I think it was to show that sometimes, conversations with others can also be a fate encounter with the love of your life. I do not think each character was out riding the train, looking for love however sometimes when you two people are in the same place at the same time, a connection is formed, whether we like it or not. The characters did not strike me initially but I remember thinking, they were complete opposite. Some things are fate. I am definitely one to speak with strangers, I like people, I find their stories fascinating.


Posted Sep. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 373

RE: What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

I thought the relationship was very realistic at the beginning on a train. He was an older man annoyed with a young girl and her dog. She was very into herself. I also thought the relationship built well. Strangers talk on a train, bus or plane and get to know each other very well because people don't think they'll see each other again. The intent wasn't a physical attraction...it built as they spent time together.


Posted Sep. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 176

RE: What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

My husband and I are always talking to strangers, whether on a train or standing in a line somewhere or sitting in a cafe. We like people and are interested in other people's lives. I loved the story of Miranda and Samuel and thought it interesting that they hit it off so well. Personality really has little to do with age - just because you become an "older person" doesn't mean you don't still have just as much personality as a younger one. Age is relative - it really means nothing in a personal relationship unless you insert some meaning or connotation regarding age.


Posted Sep. 14, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
iread49

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 54

RE: What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

I was suspicious of Miranda. I felt protective of Samuel. I like Miranda’s statement “ We are the same” . I am an introvert but as I have aged I do start conversations with strangers more and more. Maybe I just don’t care as much what people think !


Posted Sep. 16, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 52

RE: What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

Miranda struck me as a self centered young woman, wrapped up in her own thoughts and wants. My first impression of Samuel was this staid, somewhat proper, middle aged gentleman. I thought Miranda was simply amusing herself...I certainly didn’t see what was coming. Yes, I do often start conversations with strangers...I enjoy seeing that while we’re all made of the same stuff, it’s put together differently in each of us.


Posted Sep. 16, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 324

RE: What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

Maybe fate? Finding yourself on a train in close proximity to another almost always moves to conversation. I think the encounter caught both of them looking for something (or maybe running form something) and through time they found their 'something' in each other.

Not sure why this became the opening portion of the book. I think it moved into young Oliver, but whether that was the initial intention or not I am not sure. Maybe it was that you may not be in control of who you fall in love with??


Posted Sep. 17, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 160

RE: What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

Sometimes people are drawn to each other and make a personal connection almost immediately. (It's happened to me!) But I will say, in the case of Samuel and Miranda, that relationship moved really fast, too quickly in my opinion. In only twelve hours of being together, they each were ready to make huge changes in their lives in order to be with each other. The books needed to start with Samuel and Miranda to provide context for the following stories. As far as initiating conversations with strangers, I do more now that I am older, however, I've never gotten into deeply personal conversations.


Posted Sep. 25, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyb

Join Date: 09/22/11

Posts: 96

RE: What is your first impression of Miranda and Samuel? Why are they drawn to each other? Why do you think Aciman chose this opening? Do you initiate conversations with strangers?

A novel takes me to those what if moments. I liked that! Yes they are different in many ways that people might consider, dangerous, a manipulation, out of the box, a societal no no, as has been stated.
I loved the back and forth conversation and quiet moments.

I often talk with people or they to me. Sometimes I don’t feel like it. To be honest I have a friend that is always doing this and it can drive me crazy.


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