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The New Yorker: "a deeply observed, excrutiatingly blunt novel."

Date: Dec 8 2005

In this deeply observed, excruciatingly blunt novel, Olga, a middle-aged wife and mother, is plunged into a breakdown after her husband leaves her for a younger woman. Her anguish is expressed through obscenity and violence, as she neglects her children and day-to-day responsibilities to obsess over what sexual acts her husband and his lover might be performing. Olga’s rage and self-pity threaten to turn her into something of a monster, when she hears her daughter crying for her, she thinks, “But why should I hurry? I discovered with remorse that, if the child needed me, I felt no need of her.” Still, Ferrante knows just when to let up, and the redemptive note struck by the ending is a welcome reprieve.