This is the first book in a series and although it took me quite a while to get into the story, once I was in, I didn’t want it to end. I’ll definitely read the other books. Ferrante writes about two best friends, Elena and Lila, who live in a poor neighbourhood of Naples during the 1950’s. The book’s attention to the everyday and to detail has led to comparisons with—groan—Knausgaard. However, I feel Ferrante’s minutiae is rarely a quagmire and it doesn’t, in stark contrast, make the plot tedious. There actually is a plot. Through one enduring friendship and one beleaguered neighbourhood, Ferrante tells of relationships, politics, culture, power, money, family, and Italy.
Gwenamon says: It’s heavy, but a good surprise