the next good book

Those Who Leave And Those Who Stay

By Elena Ferrante


418 pages

What’s it about? This is the third book in Elena Ferrante’s Neopoloitan series and it continues telling the life of Elena Greco. In this book Elena marries and we see Lina continue to struggle with the lack of possibilities in her life. What did it make me think about? This book is as much about Italy, and the role of women in this country through the last fifty years, as it is about female friendships. Both are complicated subjects and Ferrante dissects them like a surgeon.  She has such razor sharp insights and uses her plot and characters to tell you a larger story. Should I read it? Yes- but start at the beginning with Book 1. Quote- “They worked hard, that was obvious. And at least Enzo in front of him, in the factory, women worn out by work, by humiliations, by domestic obligations no less than Lila was. Yet now they were both angry because of the conditions she worked in; they couldn’t tolerate it. You had to hide everything from men. They preferred not to know, they preferred to pretend that what happened at the hands of the boss miraculously didn’t happen to the women important to them and that- this was the idea they had grown up with- they had to protect her even at the risk of being killed.”

Related books: