The Story Of A New Name: Neapolitan Novels, Book Two by Elena FerranteThe Story Of A New Name: Neapolitan Novels, Book Two by Elena Ferrante

The Story Of A New Name: Neapolitan Novels, Book Two

byElena FerranteTranslated byAnn Goldstein

Paperback | September 13, 2013

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Soon to be an HBO series, the follow-up to My Brilliant Friend in the New York Times bestselling Neapolitan quartet about two friends growing up in post-war Italy is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted family epic by Italy's most beloved and acclaimed writer, Elena Ferrante, one of the great novelists of our time." (Roxana Robinson, The New York Times )In The Story of a New Name, Lila has recently married and made her enteree into the family business; Elena, meanwhile, continues her studies and her exploration of the world beyond the neighborhood that she so often finds stifling. Love, jealousy, family, freedom, commitment, and above all friendship: these are signs under which both women live out this phase in their stories. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila, and the pressure to excel is at times too much for Elena. Yet the two young women share a complex and evolving bond that is central to their emotional lives and is a source of strength in the face of life's challenges. In these Neapolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante, the acclaimed author of The Days of Abandonment, gives readers a poignant and universal story about friendship and belonging.Ferrante is one of the world's great storytellers. With the Neapolitan quartet she has given her readers an abundant, generous, and masterfully plotted page-turner that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight readers for many generations to come."
Elena Ferrante is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), Troubling Love (Europa, 2006), The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2008) and the Neapolitan Quartet (Europa 2012-2015). She is also the author of a children's picture book illustrated by Mara Cerri, The Beach at Night . Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker . Her...
Title:The Story Of A New Name: Neapolitan Novels, Book TwoFormat:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 8.2 × 5.3 × 1.8 inPublished:September 13, 2013Publisher:Europa EditionsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1609451341

ISBN - 13:9781609451349

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Childhood friendships tested in twentysomething times Book Two of the four-book series dives into childhood friendships being tested in teenaged-early twentysomething times. How do people stay friends when people's interests, jobs, lives take such different paths? Majority of book Two is set on Ischia - a temporary vacation from Naples, which really is a character in itself, and all the drama that Naples contain. The island setting allows our main characters to try out new experiences, let their guards down a bit, but also allows what was old and fracturing to become even more pronounced. Same with book One, the writing is heartfelt and powerful, but what I'm beginning to also appreciate is how Elena Ferrante is so adept at plot twists and creating narrative anticipation. If you read My Brilliant Friend, you need to finish this one. It picks up right where book One left off. If you haven't read My Brilliant Friend, read that first.
Date published: 2018-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Twice as good as the first Book Two is the strongest in the series, in my opinion. The complex and profound relationships introduced in the first novel are developed as the girls become teenagers, and further complicated as new situations arise that test the definition of friendship. I love the way Ferrante's writing makes you feel every nuanced emotion that Elena experiences, whether it's jealousy, pain, admiration or insecurity. I highly recommend the first two books, and though the ending of this one will leave you wanting more, I found the third and fourth books a bit tedious, too politically-filled for my tastes, and extremely frustrating. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book two better I completely agree with other reviewers. As Elena and Lina get older the story gets more intense and the role of academia is amplified which I am much enjoying.
Date published: 2018-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from book 2 of the quartet This book was much better than the first. The pacing was better even though it is a longer book. It follows the same two friends from book one from about the age of 16 until their mid twenties. If you have any experience growing up in such a "small" neighbourhood (or if you have a parent/grandparent who did) you'll appreciate it even more. It also follows the divergence of fortune of two, essentially similarly talented, girls.
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than the first While the first novel was a little stilted (but still amazing), this book was a tale full of longing and hope and complex relationships. A story of two profound female characters that were established in "My Brilliant Friend" as clever, ambitious, and competitive -- without sacrificing their love for each other. This book is a reflection on friendship, but it's also much more. It's a commentary on Naples in the mid-20th century, on the opportunities that were available to some and not to others, on sexism, and capitalism. Elena Greco is able to pursue her education, not because she is better or smarter than her best friend, but simply because she was allowed to. She saw the opportunity for what it was -- the chance of a life-time -- and she worked hard to earn her merit. She received honours in school, recognition from her professors and colleagues, met academic figures, and published her own book (a book, it is important to note, that was inspired by her experiences growing up with Lila in Naples). All this Lenù does while her equally-intelligent friend, Lila, is left behind in Naples, tied to an abusive husband and a domestic life she never truly wanted. Lila's situation only worsens throughout the novel, until it becomes heartbreaking to see her finally give up on her dreams. She struggles to find an out, and ends up penniless, lonely, tired. All her potential -- wasted in a meat factory, working in horrid conditions. All simply because her father would not allow her to study, while Lenù was lucky enough to be able to pursue an education. And in such a world where some have opportunities and some do not, there rises the abusive husband who asserts his dominance over the women that cannot get out, the women who pine for more, who are exhausted. There rises the husband who is compelled to be the aggressor and to make the money and make the rules... It is the story of a deeply flawed protagonist, one that cannot stop comparing herself to Lila, and who struggles with identity, who wants to prove she is better than those who did not accomplish the same things as her. Lenù feels superior to her childhood friends, because she speaks intelligently and has spent time away. She has a hard time making decisions, she is tormented by the past, she reverts to insecurity frequently, she is self-deprecating, she occasionally seems to be distant from every one and every thing except Lila. And yet she is good and kind and a little lost, but still growing. She is hard-working and deserving of her success. And she is confused, but she is learning, and she is trying. She will learn to accept recognition for what she earns, and she will learn that the recognition she receives does not automatically make her superior to Lila, to Pasquale, to Antonio, Melina, Nunzia, Alfonso, Marisa... Throughout their battles with love (read: unworthy men) and learning, these two vastly different characters, Lenù and Lila, always find a way back to each other, and always add some new layer to their friendship regardless of the drama they endure. I am in love with this book: with Lenù's mistakes, with Lila's frustration and combative spirit, with the hatred and anger that these women have grappled with (both internally and externally), and mostly, with the way that they keep tethered to each other no matter the distance of time or space between them. I have not read a book with such flawed, profound, realistic, and mesmerizing characters in recent memory. I can't wait to read the next one.
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked it Very good story, but don't stop with this book. Read the whole series for a rewarding experience.
Date published: 2017-05-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Even better than the first My favourite in the series so far. A really profound look at female friendship.
Date published: 2017-04-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Still not amazing After being disappointed with the first book, I picked this one up in hopes it would improve the series. This book was slightly better than the first, but I still didn't understand what everyone was raving about.
Date published: 2017-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book I love this whole series - but this might be my favourite of the books.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant I think this was my favourite of the series - perhaps because I related so much to the uncertainty and self-doubt of Elena at this age. The book ends of a cliff hanger that made me rush out right away to buy the next one - and at that point I gave in and bought the last one as well, knowing I would want to dive straight in from one to the other!
Date published: 2017-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this book. After finishing My Brilliant Friend, I immediately started reading this book, the second in the Neapolitan series by Ferrante. As equally as satisfying and heart breaking as the first.
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ferrante is a Master "Life is like that: one day you’re getting hit, the next kissed." This quote essentially sums up much of The Story of a New Name. We continue our journey with Elena and Lila from their late teen years into early womanhood, and we see this dichotomy literally with the men in their lives, and figuratively as their friendship evolves. The women endure frightening amounts of physical abuse at the hands of men, and Ferrante’s prose is a biting and honest as in My Brilliant Friend: I had a confused need for that aggression. The vise on my wrist, the fear that he would hit me, that river of painful words ended by consoling me: it seemed to me that at least he valued me. Elena and Lila experience many of the milestones that tend to come with this stage in life: love, children, career. This book is highly relatable at moments; Ferrante writes women like no other and isn’t afraid to put to paper thoughts that are too ugly to say aloud. In others movements, however, this reads like an Italian soap opera: affairs, pregnancies as a result of the affairs, and a cast of characters that are indecisive and confused about their lives. Elena and Lila are a mess of the best kind, I can’t wait to see how these women behave in their more adult years.
Date published: 2016-12-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great continuation of the story I enjoyed this continuation of Lina and Elena's story. This story takes the girls through their teens and into their early 20s. It's a story of raising oneself above one's beginning and the various directions this can take one. It's about feeling out of place and struggling to find comfort and security within oneself. Who hasn't gone through all that in one's life? These girls are interesting. Their friendship is complicated. Elena Ferrante tells a good story. I look forward to continuing with this story very soon. What a way to end this segment!
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great story of the Struggle of Women to Find Happiness The story of Elena and Lila and the neighbourhood in Naples continues. Though this is a series of 4 books I feel that any one of them can stand alone as a self-contained story. Ferrante gives enough background as to what has happened in the past to her characters that you can pick it up without having read the first book. The first few pages also gives an outline of all the characters so that you know who everyone is. What I love about this series is the struggle of all the women to find happiness in a world that is so decidedly stacked against them. Even if they can fight out of poverty with education they are still women and not as valued as their male counterparts. Though things have improved for women today and we enjoy a lot more freedom than Ferrante's characters I guarantee you can find one character in these books you relate to. Each of the female characters reacts differently to the cards stacked against them: Lila is stubborn and defiant in her battle to not give in to all the people who keep trying to put her in her place while Elena buries herself in education in an attempt to get out of the neighbourhood (though she almost gets derailed by love); Elena's mother has become bitter, angry and jealous and takes that anger out on Elena; Gigliola, Ada and Carmen spend a lot of time gossiping and tearing each other down in a fight for the men they feel can rescue them from the misery of poverty. Throughout this book Elena compares herself to Lila. She is the ruler by which she measures her own success and for most of this book Elena finds she doesn't measure up. She is always in awe of Lila's ability to turn life to her advantage (or what Elena perceives as the advantage). Things change the moment Lila decides (despite the fact she's already married) that she in fact loves the man that Elena has had a crush on since childhood. Ferrante's characters are so real and that is the part I enjoy the most. I both pity and find myself frustrated by Elena. As the reader you see the truth of the things she is blind to and you wished she could see herself as the reader does. She is smart and strong and perceptive yet she trusts and believes none of that. She is constantly feeling inferior to Lila and often makes bad decisions simply because she is trying to keep up with Lila. So many times you wish you could shake Elena and make her see what a jerk Nino is and that there is nothing at all to admire about him. For her part Lila seems to want the best for Elena. She wants her to continue her education probably so she can live vicariously through her. Though there are times when Lila drags Elena down with her scheming and that leads to a fracture in their relationship. By contrast, Lila seems to see men and the world more clearly than Elena. From the first book until she falls in love with him, Lila seems to be the only one who sees Nino for who he is - a lying, cheating hypocrite just like his father. Once getting educated was not an option for her she realizes that marrying into money is her only route to getting out of poverty. So she sets out to find a rich guy in the neighbourhood who is not the Solaras (whom she knows to be arrogant jerks that abuse women) and she thought Stefano was that person until the night of their wedding when she learns that he too is tied to the Solaras and her 'perfect plan' is ruined. As with the first novel, it is so important to Elena to be able to keep up intellectually with Nino. She is always trying to read the right things so that she can engage in discussions and debates with him and others. This is talked of a lot throughout both books. Elena always emphasizes how she feels inadequate in this sphere yet she seems to get attention for her intelligence and the other characters don't seem to agree with her self-assessment. I had found myself rolling my eyes a few times when Elena confesses feeling inferior to those engaged in deep conversation/arguments. To the reader it appears these people she admires are puffed up peacocks fighting for their own acknowledgement more than people whom Elena should revere. By book's end Elena is in a great place but as a reader I wonder how she will ruin her good fortune due to her omnipresent inferiority complex.
Date published: 2016-05-27

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Elena Ferrante and The Neapolitan NovelsThe United States“Ferrante’s novels are intensely, violently personal, and because of this they seem to dangle bristling key chains of confession before the unsuspecting reader.” —James Wood, The New Yorker “One of the more nuanced portraits of feminine friendship in recent memory.” —Megan O’Grady, Vogue “Amazing! My Brilliant Friend took my breath away. If I were president of the world I would make everyone read this book. It is so honest and right and opens up heart to so much. Reading Ferrante reminded me of that child-like excitement when you can’t look up from the page, when your eyes seem to be popping from your head, when you think: I didn’t know books could do this!” —Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge “I like the Italian writer, Elena Ferrante, a lot. I've been reading all her work and all about her.” — John Waters, actor and director “Elena Ferrante may be the best contemporary novelist you’ve never heard of”— The Economist “Ferrante’s freshness has nothing to do with fashion…it is imbued with the most haunting music of all, the echoes of literary history.” —The New York Times Book Review “I am such a fan of Ferrante’s work, and have been for quite a while.” —Jennifer Gilmore, author of The Mothers “The women’s fraught relationship and shifting fortunes are the life forces of the poignant book” — Publisher’s Weekly “When I read [the Neapolitan novels] I find that I never want to stop. I feel vexed by the obstacles—my job, or acquaintances on the subway—that threaten to keep me apart from the books. I mourn separations (a year until the next one—how?). I am propelled by a ravenous will to keep going.”—Molly Fischer, The New Yorker“[Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels] don’t merely offer a teeming vision of working-class Naples, with its cobblers and professors, communists and mobbed-up businessmen, womanizing poets and downtrodden wives; they present one of modern fiction’s richest portraits of a friendship.” —John Powers, Fresh Air, NPR “Elena Ferrante is one of the great novelists of our time. Her voice is passionate, her view sweeping and her gaze basilisk . . . In these bold, gorgeous, relentless novels, Ferrante traces the deep connections between the political and the domestic. This is a new version of the way we live now — one we need, one told brilliantly, by a woman.”—Roxana Robinson, The New York Times Book Review “An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends Lila and Elena, Bright and passionate girls from a raucous neighborhood in world-class Naples. Ferrante writes with such aggression  and unnerving psychological insight about the messy complexity of female friendship that the real world can drop away when you’re reading her.”—Entertainment Weekly “Ferrante seasons the prose with provocative perceptions not unlike the way Proust did.” —Shelf Awareness “It would be difficult to find a deeper portrait of women’s friendship than the one in Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, which unfold from the fifties to the twenty-first century to tell a single story with the possessive force of an origin myth.”—Megan O’Grady, Vogue  “Ferrante’s writing is so unencumbered, so natural, and yet so lovely, brazen, and flush. The constancy of detail and the pacing that zips and skips then slows to a real-time crawl have an almost psychic effect, bringing you deeply into synchronicity with the discomforts and urgency of the characters’ emotions. Ferrante is unlike other writers—not because she’s innovative, but rather because she’s unselfconscious and brutally, diligently honest.”—Minna Proctor, Bookforum “Ferrante can do a woman’s interior dialogue like no one else, with a ferocity that is shockingly honest, unnervingly blunt.”—Booklist “The truest evocation of a complex and lifelong friendship between women I’ve ever read.” —Emily Gould, author of Friendship “Elena Ferrante is the author of several remarkable, lucid, austerely honest novels . . . My Brilliant Friend is a large, captivating, amiably peopled bildungsroman.”—James Wood, The New Yorker “Compelling, visceral and immediate . . . a riveting examination of power . . . The Neapolitan novels are a tour de force.”—Jennifer Gilmore, The Los Angeles Times “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay surpasses the rapturous storytelling of the previous titles in the Neapolitan Novels.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Ferrante’s voice feels necessary. She is the Italian Alice Munro.”—Mona Simpson,author of Casebook and Anywhere But Here “Elena Ferrante will blow you away.”—Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones “The Days of Abandonment is a powerful, heartrending novel.”—Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Lowland  “The Neapolitan novel cycle is an unconditional masterpiece . . . I read all the books in a state of immersion; I was totally enthralled. There was nothing else I wanted to do except follow the lives of Lila and Lenù to the end.”—Jhumpa Lahiri, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Lowland “Reading Ferrante reminded me of that child-like excitement when you can’t look up from the page, when your eyes seem to be popping from your head, when you think: I didn’t know books could do this!”—Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Burgess Boys “Elena Ferrante: the best angry woman writer ever!”—John Waters, director “The feverish speculation about the identity of Elena Ferrante betrays an understandable failure of imagination: it seems impossible that right now somewhere someone sits in a room and draws up these books. Palatial and heartbreaking beyond measure, the Neapolitan novels seem less written than they do revealed. One simply surrenders. When the final volume appears—may that day never come!—they’re bound to be acknowledged as one of the most powerful works of art, in any medium, of our age.”—Gideon Lewis-Kraus, author of A Sense of Direction “Ferrante tackles girlhood and friendship with amazing force.”—Gwyneth Paltrow, actor “Elena Ferrante’s The Story of a New Name. Book two in her Naples trilogy. Two words: Read it.”—Ann Hood, writer (from Twitter) “Ferrante continues to imbue this growing saga with great magic.”—Booklist(starred review) “One of Italy’s best contemporary novelists.”?—The Seattle Times“Ferrante’s emotional and carnal candor are so potent.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times “Elena Ferrante’s gutsy and compulsively readable new novel, the first of a quartet, is a terrific entry point for Americans unfamiliar with the famously reclusive writer, whose go-for-broke tales of women’s shadow selves—those ambivalent mothers and seething divorcées too complex or unseemly for polite society (and most literary fiction, for that matter)—shimmer with Balzacian human detail and subtle psychological suspense . . . The Neapolitan novels offer one of the more nuanced portraits of feminine friendship in recent memory—from the make-up and break-up quarrels of young girls to the way in which we carefully define ourselves against each other as teens—Ferrante wisely balances her memoir-like emotional authenticity with a wry sociological understanding of a society on the verge of dramatic change.” —Megan O’Grady, Vogue “My Brilliant Friend is a sweeping family-centered epic that encompasses issues of loyalty, love, and a transforming Europe. This gorgeous novel should bring a host of new readers to one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors.”—The Barnes and Noble Review “Ferrante draws an indelible picture of the city’s mean streets and the poverty, violence and sameness of lives lived in the same place forever . . . She is a fierce writer.”—Shelf Awareness “Ferrante transforms the love, separation and reunion of two poor urban girls into the general tragedy of their city.”––The New York Times “Beautifully translated by Ann Goldstein . . . Ferrante writes with a ferocious, intimate urgency that is a celebration of anger. Ferrante is terribly good with anger, a very specific sort of wrath harbored by women, who are so often not allowed to give voice to it. We are angry, a lot of the time, at the position we’re in—whether it’s as wife, daughter, mother, friend—and I can think of no other woman writing who is so swift and gorgeous in this rage, so bracingly fearless in mining fury.”—Susanna Sonnenberg, The San Francisco Chronicle “Everyone should read anything with Ferrante’s name on it.”—The Boston Globe “The through-line in all of Ferrante’s investigations, for me, is nothing less than one long, mind-and-heart-shredding howl for the history of women (not only Neapolitan women), and its implicit j’accuse . . . Ferrante’s effect, critics agree, is inarguable. ‘Intensely, violently personal’ and ‘brutal directness, familial torment’ is how James Wood ventures to categorize her—descriptions that seem mild after you’ve encountered the work.” —Joan Frank, The San Francisco Chronicle “Lila, mercurial, unsparing, and, at the end of this first episode in a planned trilogy from Ferrante, seemingly capable of starting a full-scale neighborhood war, is a memorable character.”—Publishers Weekly “An engrossing, wildly original contemporary epic about the demonic power of human (and particularly female) creativity checked by the forces of history and society.” —The Los Angeles Review of Books “Ferrante’s own writing has no limits, is willing to take every thought forward to its most radical conclusion and backwards to its most radical birthing.”­—The New YorkerThe United Kingdom“The Story of a New Name, like its predecessor, is fiction of the very highest order.”—Independent on Sunday “My Brilliant Friend, translated by Ann Goldstein, is stunning: an intense, forensic exploration of the friendship between Lila and the story’s narrator, Elena. Ferrante’s evocation of the working-class district of Naples where Elena and Lila first meet as two wiry eight-year-olds is cinematic in the density of its detail.”—The Times Literary Supplement “This is a story about friendship as a mass of roiling currents—love, envy, pity, spite, dependency and Schadenfreude coiling around one another, tricky to untangle.”—Intelligent Life “Elena Ferrante may be the best contemporary novelist you have never heard of. The Italian author has written six lavishly praised novels. But she writes under a pseudonym and will not offer herself for public consumption. Her characters likewise defy convention . . . Her prose is crystal, and her storytelling both visceral and compelling.”—The Economist Ferrante is an expert above all at the rhythm of plotting: certain feuds and oppositions are kept simmering and in abeyance for years, so that a particular confrontation – a particular scene – can be many hundreds of pages in coming, but when it arrives seems at once shocking and inevitable.”—The IndependentItaly “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay evokes the vital flux of a heartbeat, of blood flowing through our veins.”––La Repubblica “We don’t know who she is, but it doesn’t matter. Ferrante’s books are enthralling self-contained monoliths that do not seek friendship but demand silent, fervid admiration from her passionate readers . . . The thing most real in these novels is the intense, almost osmotic relationship that unites Elena and Lila, the two girls from a neighborhood in Naples who are the peerless protagonists of the Neapolitan novels.”—Famiglia Cristiana “Today it is near impossible to find writers capable of bringing smells, tastes, feelings, and contradictory passions to their pages. Elena Ferrante, alone, seems able to do it. There is no writer better suited to composing the great Italian novel of her generation, her country, and her time than she.”—Il Manifesto “Elena Ferrante is a very great novelist . . . In a world often held prisoner to minimalism, her writing is extremely powerful, earthy, and audacious.”—Francesca Marciano, author of The Other Language “Regardless of who is behind the name Elena Ferrante, the mysterious pseudonym used by the author of the Neapolitan novels, two things are certain: she is a woman and she knows how to describe Naples like nobody else. She does so with a style that recalls an enchanted spider web with its expressive power and the wizardry with which it creates an entire world.” —Huffington Post (Italy) “A marvel that is without limits and beyond genre.”—Il Salvagente“Elena Ferrante is proving that literature can cure our present ills; it can cure the spirit by operating as an antidote to the nervous attempts we make to see ourselves reflected in the present-day of a country that is increasingly repellent.”—Il Mattino“My Brilliant Friend flows from the soul like an eruption from Mount Vesuvio.”—La RepubblicaAustralia “No one has a voice quite like Ferrante’s. Her gritty, ruthlessly frank novels roar off the page with a barbed fury, like an attack that is also a defense . . . Ferrante’s fictions are fierce, unsentimental glimpses at the way a woman is constantly under threat, her identity submerged in marriage, eclipsed by motherhood, mythologised by desire. Imagine if Jane Austen got angry and you’ll have some idea of how explosive these works are.”—John Freeman, The Australian “One of the most astounding—and mysterious—contemporary Italian novelists available in translation, Elena Ferrante unfolds the tumultuous inner lives of women in her thrillingly menacing stories of lost love, negligent mothers and unfulfilled desires.”—The Age “Ferrante bewitches with her tiny, intricately drawn world . . . My Brilliant Friend journeys fearlessly into some of that murkier psychological territory where questions of individual identity are inextricable from circumstance and the ever-changing identities of others.” —The Melbourne Review “The Neapolitan novels move far from contrivance, logic or respectability to ask uncomfortable questions about how we live, how we love, how we singe an existence in a deeply flawed world that expects pretty acquiescence from its women. In all their beauty, their ugliness, their devotion and deceit, these girls enchant and repulse, like life, like our very selves.” —The Sydney Morning Herald “The best thing I’ve read this year, far and away, would be Elena Ferrante…I just think she puts most other writing at the moment in the shade. She’s marvelous. I like her so much I’m now doing something I only do when I really love the writer: I’m only allowing myself two pages a day.” —Richard Flanagan, author of Book prize finalist, The Narrow Road to the Deep NorthSpain “Elena Ferrante’s female characters are genuine works of art . . . It is clear that her novel is the child of Italian neorealism and an abiding fascination with scene.”—El Pais