Novel Comments

4 Jan

This fourth of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, The Story of the Lost Child (2015), continues and ends the tale of the long friendship between the brilliant Elena and the volatile Lila, against the background of the sociological influences of city of their births, Naples. The intense ambivalence of a close female relationship has perhaps never been more thoroughly explored in literature. Ferrante shies away from no aspect of these two women’s long-standing attachment. She includes their cooperation and competition, their dependence on each other for self-definition and struggles to be independent of the other, their intimate familiarity and their blindness to aspects of themselves and each other. Ferrante is a writer worthy of her fame. However, sometimes it would have been a relief if she had conveyed less intensity and more humor.

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