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Troubling Love

3.36 of 5 stars 3.36  ·  rating details  ·  773 ratings  ·  112 reviews
"A deeply observed, excruciatingly blunt novel."-The New Yorker

"The raging, tormented voice of the author is something rare."-The New York Times

Following her mother's untimely and mysterious death, Delia embarks on a voyage of discovery through the streets of her native Naples searching for the truth about her family. A series of mysterious telephone calls leads her to com
Paperback, 144 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by Europa Editions (first published 1992)
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Based on the two Ferrante novels I've read so far (the other being The Days of Abandonment), I predict the title of this one will describe my relationship with all her works. Though I wasn't as drawn in at first by the narratorial voice here as I was with that of "Days", I ended up feeling much the same about both. They are not novels I can say I've enjoyed as they are so unsettling, but each has gotten under my skin and stayed there. Here too are abandonment issues: an anxious child unreasonabl ...more
Susan: Europa Editions, is Italy as depressing and confusing as it appears to be from a survey of your catalogue?

Europa Editions: Unenlightened Reader, what makes you think Italy is depressing? It is MAGICAL, as these two books, Troubling Love and From the Land of the Moon , clearly show.

S: Can you explain how confusing illusion for reality because of severe emotional trauma is not depressing?

EE: It’s not depressing because it’s a way of coping with ugly emotions and problems. Sure, you America
“Childhood is a tissue of lies that endure in the past tense: at least, mine was like that”

Troubling Love is the first novel by Italian author, Elena Ferrante. The drowning death of her sixty-three year old mother, Amalia, sends Rome cartoonist, Delia back to her hometown of Naples for the funeral. The circumstances of Amalia’s death were a little strange: overdue for her monthly visit to Delia, she was found on the beach that was their childhood holiday destination, dressed only in an expensive
«Estava de tal forma decidida a tornar-me diferente dela que perdia uma a uma as razões para ser semelhante.»

A aferição de Um Estranho Amor é séria. Elena Ferrante, aliada a uma escrita licorosa, explora a perversidade, a legitimidade e o feiticismo de uma relação filial. Dila é uma mulher acabada que repensa e refaz a veracidade das acusações que infletiram o rumo do seu crescimento. Amália é uma mãe permissiva cuja elegância somática convida especulações e infelicidades de grande cabot
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K.D. Absolutely
Aug 20, 2014 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006-2012)
Quite an interesting book. Although there are many unanswered questions in the end, I guess the ambiguity is part of the package as those are not what the author wanted to leave to her readers. The truth about the death of the mother is simply left open for interpretation just like how the relationship of the mother to her daughter is in the first place: cold, indifferent and distant. Just like many other situations I encountered from reading fiction, reading this book is like threading in an un ...more
Sherwood Smith
Sep 07, 2015 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: fiction
A name that has recently gaining serious word of mouth, Elena Ferrante caught my interest, and here was this standalone book to try before attempting her series.

It's apparently her first novel, and of course is translated. It's also fairly short, though not the least bit a fast read. It took me a week, partly because of content.

Good: the prose, even translated, is a relief from the easy patterns encountered in so much genre storytelling, but at least genre books, even with pedestrian prose, don'
Anita Pomerantz
A "1001 Books to Read Before You Die" book that should be on a list called "Books You Shouldn't Read Before You Die Unless Someone Is Paying You. A Lot."

Not sure how a 139 page book can seem so long and unnecessarily convoluted, but this one managed. It is the story of Delia, daughter of Amalia. Amalia drowns in the sea wearing only a beautiful lace bra, an item of clothing she would never wear. Sounds good so far, right?

And that's where the good part ends. The rest of the book is a mish mash of
A puzzling, dark book and that is usually not a problem for me, but this one didn't stick that well. I admired the writing (or the translation, rather) but didn't feel like I ever got engaged with either the characters or the subject matter. The book opens with the suicide of the narrator's mother and goes down from there. I think the title is apt -- all the love described in this slim volume is troubling in nature, love being loosely defined. Perhaps it just struck me as too dark and unhappy fo ...more
This book is a real punch in the stomach. I'm going to classify it with the works that dig deep into the dark side of men and women. The story is about the struggle of Delia, a middle aged woman, with the death of her mother, Amalia. Delia has fled her home town Naples in an attempt to break radically with her mother and (the separate living) father. But after the death (suicide?) of Amalia Delia tries to unravel the mystery around the life her mother has led. She finds no really satisfying answ ...more
Ho scoperto la Ferrante leggendo “La figlia oscura”, un libro che mi è piaciuto moltissimo e sull’onda del piacere di questa scoperta ho iniziato a leggere “L’amore molesto” con tante aspettative, purtroppo andate deluse. Rapporto madre –figlia contorto, la trama ed i personaggi sono eccessivi e subdoli, e il tutto è ambientato in una Napoli volutamente cupa ed angosciante. Saranno state troppo elevate le mie aspettative, ma questa storia morbosa e questo rincorrere biancheria sporca proprio non ...more
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. *Troubling Love* is a psychological masterpiece that twists, turns, and rarely gives the reader pause for breath. The novel is about the relationship between men and women, the relationship between mothers and daughters, and the intersection of the two. It is dizzying in its complexity, gnawing in its subtlety. Disorienting, bewildering, heartbreaking, and beautiful. For the first time in my life, I finished a book and immediately returned to page one ...more
El alquimista del tedio Alquimista del tedio
El amor molesto (el libro que nos ocupa) fue el primer libro publicado de Elena Ferrante. Luego vendrían dos más: Los días del abandono y La hija oscura, entre otros. Los tres fueron reunidos bajo el título de Crónicas del desamor, publicado por la Editorial Lumen.

Ferrante como otros autores invisibles tipo Pynchon no quiere que nadie sepa nada más de ellos que aquello de lo que escriben, de ahí que en el libro no venga foto alguna de la autora, ni ningún dato biográfico.

El amor molesto plasma
Troubling Love is interesting to read as the book referred to partially in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels so far, but besides that, I am struggling with being a victim of the "Ferrante fever" but finding Troubling Love a disappointment. The writing is far too involved with itself, to the point of reading sentences that are too caught up in their own ornamentation that they are confusing. One sentence I underlined mentions a father who belongs to a generation that could not imagine waste. Now ...more
Troubling Love is my third book by an Italian author, who goes by the pseudonym, Elena Ferrante. The other two books, The Days of Abandonment and The Lost Daughter, also published as Europa Editions were a treat to read. All three books were translated from Italian, by Ann Goldstein who did a great job.

Troubling Love, packs a punch, beginning with the opening sentence...."My mother drowned on the night of May 23rd, my birthday, in the sea at a place called Spaccavento, a few miles from Minturno.
Ben Loory
ferrante's first book. all the pieces are here, the concerns and the voice; it's just a little overly clever compared to what came after. lots of reveals and reversals and intentional obfuscations; i like it better when she just sorta screams the whole story. i probably would've liked it more if i hadn't read two others right before it. might take a little break before i start the four-book sequence.
In the nine years of silence between this, her first novel and the rest of her work that came after 2001, Ferrante developed hugely as a writer. This work is recognizably from the same world and metnal outlook but it feels a little more contrived and the style isn't as pared down and effective as in the later books. Especially at the start of this book she indulges in 'literary' metaphors that distract rather than add to the story, and the sentences and reasoning sometimes feel a little convolut ...more
If you're thinking oh 100 odd pages quick read and pick it up then don't. I made this mistake because these 100 odd pages are filled with writing that shakes you and doesn't let you move on without thinking. Troubled mother, troubled daughter, their turbulent past, confused present. Lot of ambiguity for the reader to make their own assumptions.
Full of motion, activity, and physicality, so much so that at times it was hard to take. I saw the term "impressionism" in another review; yes. In one way, this is a normal plot to explore: daughter, after mother's death, is compelled to find out more about her. The execution is so vivid and headlong, however, and the circumstances and setting so continually mysterious yet blatant, that the book becomes more than the sum of its parts.

There are clearly some good modern Italian novels out there. T
I enjoy her work as much for the lyrical prose as for the content. The credit must go to the translator as much as the author. She captures emotion and relationship so well with so few words. Besides all the dysfunctional love, this book is about how we all reinvent ourselves and use different personas in life and in death. The protagonist is left with more questions than answers when she explores her mother's death. One wonders if one really knows anyone in life and one can choose a story surro ...more
Camillo Emanuele
Indubbiamente, Elena Ferrante è capace di parlare in modo egregio di come si attaccano, i rapporti, alla propria vita. con L'Amore Molesto il rapporto è fra una figlia e il ricordo della propria madre.

L'amore è molesto perché si impone con la forza degli usi meridionali sulla donna. È l'amore di qualsiasi uomo che rende ossessione un desiderio bellissimo. Da una parte il padre di Delia, la protagonista, violento uomo solo con se stesso; dall'altra Caserta, una di quelle figure che girano per le
Michael Meeuwis
It's official: Elena Ferrante can beat up Jonathan Franzen.

I'm still all about Ferrante--nearly to the point of putting on one of those high-visibility vests and standing outside a Waterstones somewhere, asking people if they've heard the good word. I think I may even like her standalone novels (this, "The Days of Abandonment") more than the Neopolitan Trilogy: these novels are sharper, and without the sweeping social context their protagonists can go a little bit crazier--and feel their psychol
Claudia Putnam
I think this is Ferrante's first novel, no? It's an impressive debut, but because it's the third book of hers I read I felt a little tired of the high-strung narrative POV... high-strung + thin-skinned + probably deluded and mood disordered. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Ferrante writes this character very, very well. But I wonder if she can get out of this woman's skin for a bit, ever?

Anyway, disturbing subject matter as always, and I do like the twistedness of the characters. It'
I'm not sure about the ending, but then, I'm not sure about anything when it comes to this writer. What I love about this book is that it takes me on a wild journey to discover who Amalia really was, her hidden life, her loves, the circumstances surrounding her life and death. In a way, it is the archetypal journey of all daughters trying to sort out the mother-daughter relationship. Ferrante does not make it easy for us. She pulls the reader in with unsavory memories, indelicate witnessing, dis ...more
Sorayya Khan
This is the first Elena Ferrante novel I've read. Her spare language and direct style work to highlight an intricate and intense web of tension throughout. The story was disturbingly intimate, a deeply personal look into the mind of a woman struggling to make sense of her relationship with her mother, her mother's lover, her mother's lover's son, and others. The novel was an uncomfortable but powerful read.

"In the faces of the old it’s difficult to trace the lineaments of their youth. At times
Giulia Astarita
Ho già letto qualche tempo fa L'amica geniale, quindi devo ammettere che da questo primo lavoro della Ferrante mi aspettavo di più, avendo letto recensioni entusiastiche del tipo: "la Ferrante governa con sapienza un intreccio che di pagina in pagina, con un linguaggio sempre più intenso, cattura il lettore dosando fascinazione e orrore".
Non sono d'accordo, anzi se avessi letto prima questo, probabilmente non sarei stata interessata a leggerne altri. In questo libro non ci sono personaggi parti
Clare Fitzgerald
So my Classics book club has an occasional habit of dipping into “modern classics,” which is something of a contradiction-in-terms, and usually means “stuff marketed as litfic.” One of these days I’m going to start skipping these, as so far I don’t often like them. I’m not sure why I decided to participate in reading Elena Ferrante’s Troubling Love, but I am rather glad I did, as I like it much more than any of the other “modern classics” we’ve read.

I almost never read litfic, as I have Issues A
What can I say about Elena Ferrante that hasn't already been said by James Wood and Jhumpa Lahiri and Zadie Smith, all minds much keener than mine? I've been meaning to read the Neopolitan Trilogy, but not wanting to commit to three books quite yet, I settled on her slender first novel.

Troubling Love is part mystery, part family drama: The protagonist Delia's mother drowns herself under what appear to be sinister circumstances. Delia must investigate her mother's recent lover, and in doing so,
This novel (or novella), Ferrante's first, is my favorite of the pre-Neapolitan novels Ferrante. The magic she works with time and imagery is truly stunning. It's never perfectly clear when or where we are in the narrator's head, but it adds up to a brilliant voice and any confusion is gone by the end. And these images! Cardboard advertisement men and women standing in for her largely invented memories. Her one-armed uncle having a second arm only when dangling a child over a railing. This simil ...more
David Gee
Elena Ferrante was written up in two articles I saw as a 'must read' author, so I ordered this.

Delia returns to her native Naples following her seamstress mother's sudden death from drowning in an apparent suicide. Investigating a mysterious figure from her mother's past, she also trawls her memory for clues to what might have driven her mother to such a step. The figure of her estranged, brutal father looms over both mother and daughter.

This may sound like a thriller - and I suppose it is a "ps
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Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous Italian novelist.

Ferrante is the author of a half dozen novels, including The Lost Daughter (originally published as La figlia oscura, 2006).

In 2012, Europa Editions began publication of English translations of Ferrante's "Neapolitan Novels", a series about two perceptive and intelligent girls from Naples who try to create lives for themselves within a violent and
More about Elena Ferrante...
My Brilliant Friend (Neapolitan Novels, #1) The Story of a New Name (Neapolitan Novels, #2) Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (Neapolitan Novels, #3) The Days of Abandonment The Story of the Lost Child (Neapolitan Novels, #4)

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