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This book has 2 recommendations

Flora Pringle (Owner/Cracked Candy)

I think Elena Ferrante writes brilliantly about the challenges of motherhood and building something for yourself. In the Neapolitan Novels she talks about her character breaking out of her poor, restrictive, mafia background through reading and learning. She breaks her boundaries and becomes an accomplished writer. In the third book particularly, Elena speaks fluently about the envy we feel of the accomplishments of others, the insecure we feel even in the traits that others so admire about us. The frustrations of motherhood and how it can impinge professional accomplishments whether we want it to or not. A powerful book.

Nicole Baldinu (Co-Founder/The $100 MBA)

I didn’t want this book to end. And I’ve gone back and listened to the audio version in Italian too. I’m lucky that my second language is Italian, as I got to enjoy it twice over! This book was wildly successful and for good reasons, it has everything you’d want in a story, love, friendship, history, humor, sadness and tragedy. All in four delicious volumes that, again, you wish would keep going and going.

Amazon description

Book one 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)

Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Ferrante’s four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its protagonists, the fiery and unforgettable Lila, and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflictual friendship. Book one in the series follows Lila and Elena from their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists.

“An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends,” writes Entertainment Weekly. “Spectacular,” says Maureen Corrigan on NPR’s Fresh Air. “A large, captivating, amiably peopled bildungsroman,” writes James Wood in The New Yorker. Ferrante is one of the world’s great storytellers.

With My Brilliant Friend 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.

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See more books recommended by: Flora Pringle, Nicole Baldinu

See more books written by: Elena Ferrante

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