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I choose book three because I don't recall anyone else choosing it as their favorite (it's obviously not the best), and to lend credence to a colleague's theory that we all respond strongest to the book in the series that is closest to our age and life experience.
I inhaled Ferrante's novellas very quickly, but I've been moving through her Neapolitan Novels slowly, often taking a long break in between each one, to savor the experience. This third installment was easily my favorite, I found myself enthralled by Elena's insights into the writing life, that feeling when you've written something great and fear that you won't be able to do it again. Ferrante excels at intelligently merging the personal and the political, something she pulls off beautifully in this novel.
The incredible story continues in book three of the critically acclaimed Neapolitan Novels Since the publication of My Brilliant Friend, the first of the Neapolitan novels, Elena Ferrante's fame as one of our most compelling, insightful, and stylish contemporary authors has grown enormously. She has gained admirers among authors--Jhumpa Lahiri, Elizabeth Strout, Claire Messud, to name a few--and critics--James Wood, John Freeman, Eugenia Williamson, for example. But her most resounding success has undoubtedly been with readers, who have discovered in Ferrante a writer who speaks with great power and beauty of the mysteries of belonging, human relationships, love, family, and friendship. In this third Neapolitan novel, Elena and Lila, the two girls whom readers first met in My Brilliant Friend, have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her husband and the comforts her marriage brought and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which has opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons. Both women have attempted are pushing against the walls of a prison that would have seen them living a life of misery, ignorance and submission. They are afloat on the great sea of opportunities that opened up during the nineteen-seventies. Yet they are still very much bound to each other by a strong, unbreakable bond.
About the Author
Elena Ferrante was born in Naples, Italy. She is the author of "My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, "and her previous novels"The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, "and" The Lost Daughter."