|My Brilliant Friend|
October 9, 2017
by Elena Ferrante
Book One of the Neapolitan Novels
"Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Ferrante’s four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its protagonists, the fiery and unforgettable Lila, and the bookish narrator, Elena, become women, wives, mothers, and leaders, all the while maintaining a complex and at times conflictual friendship. Book one in the series follows Lila and Elena from their first fateful meeting as ten-year-olds through their school years and adolescence.
Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists."
I slogged my way through this book, really trying to like it. I finished reading it (finally!), but never really enjoyed it.
I didn't find the characters particularly likeable, or their lives very interesting. It seemed a gloomy, violent, and generally unhappy childhood.
There are three more novels in this series, but for me, one was more than enough.
It's not a badly written story, but I couldn't seem to get into it enough to enjoy the reading.