I didn’t really like Harvard Square until after 126 pages—for it it is about an unlikely friendship, the book is meandering, poised only on emphasizing the difference between an Egyptian transplant who is a Jew, and a Tunisian who aspires to be French. This is a ruminative novel that will strike some readers as under-plotted. But Harvard Square is a quiet contemplation, a plaintive love letter to displaced, wandering people, to anyone who longs for home and reaches unwisely for the hand of a fellow wanderer. “Maybe Kalaj and I were not so different after all,” the narrator reflects. “Everything about us was transient and provisional, as if history wasn’t done experimenting on us and couldn’t decide what to do next.” Aciman spins a hundred tragic, lush reflections on his fascination with Kalaj, but a less patient reader might wonder if a dozen such passages would have sufficed.