Although the books were released in four volumes, this is really one huge novel about two women, their profound friendship, and the will power required to negotiate the limited expectations of their families, the patriarchal assumptions of their lovers, and the crime and poverty of Naples itself. The level of psychological depth achieved in this book is astounding - many scenes are haunting, but you will love spending time with Lenu's burgeoning feminist consciousness and Lila's inscrutable brilliance. Start here and fly through the next three installments!— David
Now an HBO series: the first volume in the New York Times-bestselling "enduring masterpiece" about a lifelong friendship between two women from Naples (The Atlantic).
Beginning in the 1950s in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, Elena Ferrante's four-volume story spans almost sixty years, as its main characters, 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 conflicted friendship. This first novel in the series follows Lila and Elena from their 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 two women.
"An intoxicatingly furious portrait of enmeshed friends."--Entertainment Weekly
"Spectacular."--Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air
"Captivating."--The New Yorker