The best books of the year, as chosen by The Wall Street Journal.
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
By Elena Ferrante
The third volume of the Italian author’s epic Neapolitan series continues the story of the friendship (and rivalry) of Elena, a successful writer, and Lila, a rebellious free spirit condemned to stifling factory work. Elena Ferrante captures these women’s conflicted psychological battles with rawness and pungency. She presents an intimate, often startlingly frank portrait of their struggle in the face of rapidly changing sexual politics to break from old ways and reinvent themselves. As one character says, complimenting the disclosures in Elena’s writing, “They are secrets that you know only if you’re a woman.”
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