Find my other unhelpful reviews of the Neapolitan series here, here and here.
As part of the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge, I’m comparing the Belfast summer and Melburnian winter. The results for the day I finished this book (June 28): Belfast 15°-22° and Melbourne 13°-19°.
You might remember my feelings about the Neapolitan series (if not, read them here, here, and here). In short, I didn’t love the books. Other readers were raving. I was disappointed.
So why watch the tv series? I really just wanted some glimpses of Naples. But what I got was so much more.
I LOVED this series – for capturing the close, suffocating and violent world of Lila and Lenù. For letting the excellent cast say in a glance or a grimace what Ferrante said over endless pages. The series had tension and menace and love. You saw the insecurities and determination in the girls. Clearly this is all the stuff I missed in the books.
We caught the train from Montepulciano to Naples, and drove from there to Sorrento (with me quietly congratulating myself on the decision to hire drivers in Italy rather than get behind the wheel ourselves. Traffic in Naples was insane). We had four nights in Sorrento (I can already tell you, it wasn’t long enough). The highlights: Continue reading →
I respect and trust your opinion on almost #ALLTHEBOOKS* but I feel like you’ve let me down on the Ferrante-front. You know what I’m talking about. You loved it. You promised a sinuous, immersive tale of life in Naples, of violence and fierce love, of female friendship and deep loyalty. You didn’t tell me it would be such a wretched slog. But I pushed through, trusting you. Continue reading →
There are taboo subjects when it comes to motherhood – things that mothers might think about but rarely, if ever, talk about. Having favourite children; fantasisng about simply walking out and leaving the family to look after themselves; resenting children for robbing you of career or life aspirations; feeling jealous of your own children and their opportunities; judging other women’s’ parenting; loving your children but not ‘liking’ them very much. Mothers, are you squirming?
“The hardest things to talk about are the ones that we ourselves can’t understand.”
Elena Ferrante delves into the ‘unspokens’ of motherhood in her novel, The Lost Daughter.
The Lost Daughter is a short but intense story about a woman named Leda. She’s middle-aged, divorced, and alone for the first time in years when her daughters leave home (in Italy) to live with their father (in Canada). Leda’s initial, unexpected sense of liberty turns to ferocious introspection following a seemingly trivial occurrence while she’s on holiday in an Italian seaside town.
“No one depended anymore on my care and, finally, even I was no longer a burden to myself.”Continue reading →
You feel as if there is something much darker at play when you begin the punchy novella, Me and You by Niccolò Ammaniti.
The plot is undeniably enticing – Lorenzo is a fourteen-year-old misfit. To quell the anxiety of his concerned, socially conscious parents, he tells them he’s been invited on a ski trip with a popular classmate. Instead, Lorenzo spends the week hiding out in the basement of his family’s apartment building, where he relishes the isolation from his parents and peers.
“…biscuits, snacks and two bars of milk chocolate. A small television sat on a chest, along with my PlayStation, three Stephen King novels and a couple of Marvel comics. I locked the door. This would be my ski week.” Continue reading →