“I feel no nostalgia for our childhood. It was full of violence.”
The first novel in the Neapolitan series by Elena Ferrante follows the intense friendship and rivalry between Elena and Raffaella Cerullo, known to others as Lina and to Elena as Lila, from the miserable outskirts of Naples after World War II. By turns, both Lila and Elena are seen to be the brilliant friend of the other; their lives, inextricably connected, dovetail and diverge over decades. This is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, but also the story of a nation.
We begin in Naples, epicentre of Italian fatalism, the heart of the Camorra crime network, the presence of which lingers in these books like a thick fog, setting a social code with which everyone must in some way reckon.
My Brilliant Friend is a masterfully plotted page-turner, abundant and generous in its narrative details and characterisations. It’s also a stylish work of literary fiction and I literally couldn’t put it down.
My Amazon Link : My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One