My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I quite enjoyed this book. The style is very different from what I’ve been reading lately and even though the writing doesn’t allow you to rush through it, there is a “pull” factor that keeps bringing you back into the story, to see how things unfurl, what reactions occur, how minds work and how through all these dynamics the two friends grow and evolve.
They are independent, yet co-dependent, inseparable but also resentful of each other, indecisive but firm, seeking their own individualities but also constantly emulating each other. The complexities of humans and their intertwining lives is very well portrayed and that’s what keeps you glued page after page…. I have all the books in the series, and I’m finding it difficult to not start the next one immediately.
Elena Ferrante has been in the news lately, having been long listed for the Man Booker for her fourth novel in this series, and what makes it even more interesting is that her true identity remains a mystery. She expresses her reason for anonymity as – “The wish to remove oneself from all forms of social pressure or obligation. Not to feel tied down to what could become one’s public image. To concentrate exclusively and with complete freedom on writing and its strategies.”
In an age where writers climb over each other to secure any and every form of recognition or acknowledgement (which is fair if their work merits it), Ferrante stands apart as someone who is completely content in the fact that readers are connecting with her stories and that is really the purpose of all her writing. She believes that “books, once they are written, have no need of their authors. If they have something to say, they will sooner or later find readers; if not, they won’t.”
Evokes a lot of respect for such a highly acclaimed author, who first published in 1992, but never compromised with her stand on anonymity.