the next good book

My Brilliant Friend

By Elena Ferrante


331 pages

What’s it about? This novel is book one of four in the Neapolitan Novels series by Italian writer Elena Ferrante.  I have been reading great reviews on these novels and somehow had just not gotten to them.  What a mistake!  This first book introduces us toElena Greco and Lila Cerullo, two young girls living in a poor neighborhood in Naples  right after World War II.   Lila is brilliant and Elena works hard to keep up.
What did it make me think about? Italy!  This was not my neighborhood growing up!  The setting was so interesting.   More importantly it was a very honest portrayal of the beginnings of a significant friendship.   A friendship that helps two smart young girls cope with their world.
Should I read it? This book was just the introduction to two women that I want to know more about.  What happens next?  I can not wait to read the rest of the series!
Quote- “I feel no nostalgia for our childhood: it was full of violence.  Every sort of thing happened, at home and outside, every day, but I don’t recall having ever thought that the life we had there was particularly bad.  Life was like that, that’s all, we grew up with the duty to make it difficult for others before they made it difficult for us.  Of course, I would have liked the nice manners that the teacher and the priest preached, but I felt that those ways were not suited to our neighborhood, even if you were a girl.  The women fought among themselves more than the men, they pulled each other’s hair, they hurt each other.  To cause pain was a disease.”

Related books: