This wonderful new book from Elena Ferrante gives us more of what we've come to expect from her: intense delvings into interior spaces that reveal contradictory desires and pains, grievances and fantasies. Like the Neapolitan quartet, this is a coming-of-age story, but here it is one that stays rooted in adolescent years with particular attention to the question of how we are to become morally adequate adult selves when all of our adult role models fail us in some capacity. This book lives in the mind but it is physical and aggressive and a sometimes uncomfortable time machine that returns you to your own tortured teenage psyche.— David
“Ferrante’s latest novel gives an insightful and intriguing look at the life of a budding Italian teenage girl, both internally and externally. I found Ferrante’s ability to delve into Giovanna’s psyche fascinating, especially since I’ve never parented a girl and don’t always feel like I understand them. Her sensitivity to the myriad of issues and the fragility of Giovanna’s relationships make for a marvelous read. Ferrante is a gifted writer, and this latest offering does not disappoint. I loved this story! Fabulous read!”
— Stephanie Crowe, Page and Palette, Fairhope, AL
A powerful new novel set in a divided Naples by Elena Ferrante, the beloved best-selling author of My Brilliant Friend.
Giovanna's pretty face has changed: it's turning into the face of an ugly, spiteful adolescent. But is she seeing things as they really are? Into which mirror must she look to find herself and save herself?
She is searching for a new face in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, which professes to be a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, the city seems to offer no answer and no escape.