Monday, October 20, 2014

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

I held out as long as I could but I read all three of the books so far (in English) starting in July.

So now I have to wait an entire year to read the next installment. Which hurts a bit. I just finished the 3rd one, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, over the weekend and now my hands feel idle and empty. I need another book to adore!

The fourth book in Elena Ferrante's Neopolitan novels comes out in September 2015!

Wow, they are so worth reading...I've also turned several friends on to them and a few people I know were reading them pretty much at the same speed that I was.

I can't recommend these books enough. But start with the first one, My Brilliant Friend.

If you haven't been paying attention (I've written about the books before), the novels trace the friendship (and sometimes "enemy-ship") of two girls growing up in 1950s Naples. They are full of pain, humour and psychological meanderings that are fascinating. They are highly readable and the two main characters are some of the most memorable characters I can recall in recent memory. As the 3rd book ends, it's the late 1970s and something momentous happens (though I wont' spoil it) involving a different character who runs through all the books and our protagonist. It's both surprising and kind of expected. But emotionally one can relate to her pain, her passion, her longings and her fear for the future.

I could go on. But if you find yourself in a bookstore or online, get My Brilliant Friend and be prepared to disappear into a world like none you've ever experienced.

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