Booklist: "Ferrante's writing in captivating and insightful."
Date: Sep 15 2013
Ferrante continues the beautiful tale she started in My Brilliant Friend (2012) with this brilliant second book of a promised trilogy. At 16, best friends Elena and Lila are weary of their impoverished neighborhood and its crippling traditions, but while Lila seeks to alter these circumstances through an advantageous marriage, Elena strives to leave it behind by pursuing her education. When Lila’s marriage fails to help her realize her goals, she becomes increasingly spiteful, and Elena, busy with an acceptance to college, grows critical of her progressively unpredictable friend. Once reliant on one another, the girls now find themselves occupying very different spheres in the rapidly changing landscape of 1970s Naples. As find themselves occupying very different spheres in the rapidly changing landscape of 1970s Naples. As circumstances alternately draw them close and push them apart, they face difficult changes in the friendship that has always been their strongest source of love and support. Ferrante’s writing is captivating and insightful. She delves deeply into the character of the girls’ friendship, ushering them into womanhood with an honesty that is acutely personal. Her keen grasp of emotional nuances and minutiae evokes the work of D. H. Lawrence, and the richness of her storytelling is likely to please fans of Sara Gruen and Silvia Avallone.