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The Days of Abandonment

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  7,376 Ratings  ·  1,088 Reviews
A national bestseller for almost an entire year, The Days of Abandonment shocked and captivated its Italian public when first published. It is the gripping story of a woman's descent into devastating emptiness after being abandoned by her husband with two young children to care for. When she finds herself literally trapped within the four walls of their high-rise apartment ...more
Paperback, 188 pages
Published September 1st 2005 by Europa Editions (first published 2002)
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  • The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante
    The Days of Abandonment
    Release date: Sep 01, 2005
    Go back to where #FerranteFever all began, dive into bestselling author Elena Ferrante's backlist with one of her riveting standalone novels, The Days ...more

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    Availability: 25 copies available, 1063 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Jan 23 - Mar 03, 2017

    Countries available: US, CA, and GB

    Format: Print Book

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    (showing 1-30)
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    What happens when a person’s domestic life with spouse and children, their entire personal existence, cracks like a bottle of wine and spills all over the floor?
    The Days of Abandonment happens.

    The atmosphere of this book is far more powerful than the sum of each of its words. The shape of the telling fits the theme perfectly, and the honesty of Olga, the narrator, allows the reader to share in her experience, to look through every line, to gaze downward and feel the vertigo of the depths, the
    Feb 15, 2016 Agnieszka rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: own, reviewed, ebook, 2016

    I first heard about Elena Ferrante about a year ago when everyone seemed to read her Neapolitan saga . So I joined the club too and read My brilliant friend , the first installment of the series . I pretty liked that one though to be honest sometimes I was lost in the plethora of names and constantly confused who was who and with whom . I didn’t find the language especially captivating but it was nicely written and I hadn’t any problem with reading it . But if I had to indicate any reservation
    Nov 23, 2014 Garima rated it really liked it
    Recommended to Garima by: Fionnuala & Stephen
    Look at me, I said to the glass in a whisper, a breath. The mirror was summing up my situation- The worse side, the better side, geometry of the hidden.

    The stage is set with everything at its right place. The lunch is prepared, served and without further ado, an unexpected and grievous announcement is made from across the table with a nonchalance rightly belonging to some stranger rather than that one dear person who shared with you yet another embarrassingly funny tale of his teenage self as a
    Aug 29, 2016 Jibran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Recommended to Jibran by: women in translation month '16
    Shelves: fiction, italian
    When you don't know how to keep a man you lose everything.

    It is easy to say that the build-up to Olga’s sense of abandonment and her descent into the abyss of her psychological breakdown couldn’t quite hold together after her abrupt transformation back into normality underscored by a sense of contained pain; I don’t know how to put it adequately (I'm feeling as inadequate as people say they do when they review Stoner) but there is something entirely missing from the bigger picture that could, sa
    Nov 12, 2014 Cheryl rated it really liked it
    Recommends it for: those who want to explore the workings of the mind
    Recommended to Cheryl by: Fionnuala
    "I wanted to write stories about women with resources, women of invincible words, not a manual for the abandoned wife with her lost love at the top of her thoughts. I was young, I had pretensions. I didn't like the impenetrable page, like a lowered blind. I liked light, air between the slats…I loved the writers who made you look through every line, to gaze downward and feel the vertigo of the depths, the blackness of inferno."

    Was this Ferrante speaking through her main character, Olga? The mom
    Paul Bryant
    Sep 15, 2016 Paul Bryant rated it really liked it
    Shelves: novels
    First person novels featuring women going slightly or more than slightly bonkers are not hard to come by, in fact they may be a whole sub-genre. These are some I have read in the last couple of years

    Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce in which a waitress has way too much sex and drugs (but hardly any rock and roll)
    Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh in which Eileen (who else) is driven to the point of distraction by her alky father and does something really crazy
    Dietland by Sarai Walker in which the self loa
    Lola Wallace
    When I finished Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House two days ago, all I wanted to do as read another book exactly like that one. But the thing about Shirley Jackson's books is, there is no other book exactly like this. Next on my list was The Days of Abandonment. Not only is it the most recent Emily Books selection, but I've heard nothing but good things about Elena Ferrante in general. So I was looking forward to the book. But I did not think a novel about a middle-aged housewife in Tu ...more
    Jul 21, 2016 Maxwell rated it really liked it
    Shelves: i-own-it, 2016
    Ferrante is a master at capturing human emotion. Not only that, her sentences are so delightful and can turn from horrifying to elating in a matter of seconds. I'm happy to say this one did not disappoint.
    Sep 09, 2014 Stephen rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: fiction
    This is as close to perfection a novel told in the first person can achieve. A knock against "women's literature"is that it never aims for, or achieves, a large-scale canvas. Ambitious men prefer architecture over sensitivity, evidence shows. Nothing like reading another 700 page book from Mitchell or Murakami. Ordinarily the lack of curiosity about those outside one's class explains why: the preference for one's circle of intimates where uncertainties and dangers are kept away. In less than 200 ...more
    Jan 01, 2015 Hadrian rated it really liked it
    Shelves: italian, fiction
    The Days of Abandonment is a book of fearsome emotional force. The plot seems simple enough. Husband Mario leaves his wife, Olga, for a much younger woman. So young, in fact, that it would be statutory rape when the affair started.

    In the awful process of abandonment, Olga very nearly destroys herself. Her husband was truly scum, but his effects of his actions continue out of Olga's fear and rage.

    I respect the emotional power and depth of his book, but I doubt I will quickly return to Ferrante's
    One April afternoon, right after lunch, my husband announced that he wanted to leave me.

    And so begins Olga's descent into the heart of her own darkness. The Days of Abandonment packs a wallop of tension and cringe-inducing desperation into 188 pages of elegantly-rendered narrative. This isn't the story of a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, this is THE nervous breakdown, in all its raw ugliness. We may tut-tut as we read Olga's hair-raising mayhem, but really, isn't this what we fear, i
    Jan 15, 2016 Vanessa rated it really liked it
    4.5 stars.

    Elena Ferrante is an author I would never have checked out in the first place, if it wasn't for the fact that this book in particular was recommended to me by a bookish friend I trust. I mean let's be honest, that cover doesn't do this book any justice - it's terrible. And I know people say you should never judge a book by its cover, but most people I guarantee would have. This is why I implore all of you to read this book.

    This is the depiction of one woman, Olga, and how she deals (o
    Nelson Zagalo
    Quem quer que esteja a par do que vai sendo editado, sabe que o fenómeno Ferrante atingiu Portugal em cheio nos últimos dois anos com a publicação da sua obra pela Relógio d’Água, apesar de “Os Dias do Abandono” ter sido editado entre nós há mais de uma década pela D. Quixote. Do meu lado, conhecendo apenas o nome, não tendo lido críticas além das de amigas do Goodreads, nem nada da autora, fui apanhado completamente de surpresa quando por acaso resolvi ler a primeira página de “Os Dias do Aband ...more
    Oct 08, 2015 Rebecka rated it did not like it
    I hated this book for 85% of it, then the last 15% weren't all bad, and I kind of lost all that built-up rage... Anyway, I won't let that soften the blow, because this was torture to listen to. I'm not sure how much of my repulsion stems from the book itself, and how much can be blamed on the gratingly bitchy narrator. There's some cleverness in how Olga turns into what she once thought she never would become, but that does in no way redeem the book.

    I simply couldn't stand Olga. She's definitely
    Nov 28, 2016 Vessey rated it really liked it
    Recommended to Vessey by: Fionnuala
    Shelves: drama, 4-stars


    "Existence is a start of joy, a stab of pain, an intense pleasure, veins that pulse under the skin, there is no other truth to tell."

    Abandonment. Loneliness. Rejection. How do we survive them? How does Olga survive, when her husband leaves her for a younger woman after fifteen years of marriage? By stepping outside of herself. She lets herself see. But is it only when we find ourselves tired of ourselves that we think to see outside of ourselves? And when we finally make this step, whe
    Feb 03, 2015 Teresa rated it really liked it
    Recommended to Teresa by: Fionnuala
    I feel torn over this book, though thankfully not in the way the main character Olga feels torn (fragmented) during what has to be the worst day of her life. It comes across as a day of mental illness, one that had its beginnings in previous days and will have repercussions in days to come, days in which she tamps down the feelings that arise. Yet to call it mental illness (and no one does) is probably inaccurate.

    Ferrante seems to have captured any and all emotions and behaviors that might arise
    Sidharth Vardhan
    Dec 08, 2016 Sidharth Vardhan rated it really liked it
    Recommended to Sidharth by: Vessey
    Shelves: europe, woman-authors
    "music is always soothing, it loosens the knots of nerves tied tight around the emotions"


    "these women are stupid. Cultured women, in comfortable circumstances, they broke like knickknacks in the hands of their straying men. They seemed to me sentimental fools: I wanted to be different, I wanted to write stories about women with resources, women of invincible words, not a manual for the abandoned wife with her lost love at the top of her thoughts"

    When we read a novel by an African-American auth
    Patrick Power
    Jan 11, 2015 Patrick Power rated it really liked it
    Shelves: fiction
    Ferrantes novel is taut and precise,not necessarily plot driven.This is an exploration of the mental turmoil and anguish of a woman whose husband suddenly removes himself from the family home in Turin.Themes of abandonment,control,isolation,and recovery and much more.Very satisfying and succeeds wonderfully.Four Stars
    Ben Loory
    Mar 31, 2015 Ben Loory rated it it was amazing
    There is no technical means of reproduction that, up to now, has managed to surpass the mirror and the dream.

    this is a perfect book. furious and terrifying, possessed of an unrelenting and unrelentingly nightmarish forward motion the likes of which i've never in a "domestic drama" (and rarely anywhere). just plain startlingly great. i nearly had a psychotic break in the middle, i think... had to take a break and walk around the lake.
    This was emotional and searing and I finished it in one afternoon and it left me some combination of sad and angry and melancholy for the rest of the day, and it's going to be a pretty long time before I can talk about it, I think.
    Mar 15, 2015 brian rated it really liked it
    amazing. blows out micro-obsessions of guilt regret fear doubt betrayal and anger until they're the size of the cosmos. guess i'm gonna have to check out that trilogy all the smarty-pants have been going on and on about...
    Feb 02, 2016 Vasileios rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: read-in-greek

    Όπως έχει δηλώσει στη Lifo η Σταυρούλα Παπασπύρου, έχουμε να κάνουμε με μια συγγραφέα φάντασμα που έγινε θρύλος. Κανείς δεν τη ξέρει, δεν την έχει δει από κοντά και μάλιστα μπορεί να είναι ακόμη και άντρας ή πολλά άτομα πίσω από το όνομα Έλενα Φεράντε. Με μεγάλη ανυπομονησία αναμένουμε και τους νέους τίτλους της που θα κυκλοφορήσουν από τις εκδόσεις Πατάκη, από την άνοιξη.

    Μέρες εγκατάλειψης. Ήδη ο τίτλος του βιβλίου μας δίνει να καταλάβουμε πολύ καλά περι
    Violet wells
    Dec 03, 2016 Violet wells rated it it was ok
    Oh dear!

    Basically the Neapolitan novels render this book completely obsolete. It’s like a crude test drive for the character of Elena.

    Elena is called Olga in this novel and is the woman from hell. A kind of fantasy creation of how we might behave in our most self-indulgent, man-hating and self-pitying incarnation. Essentially she’s an educated thirty eight woman who behaves like an adolescent crackhead. I could imagine Meryl Streep playing her in a film, except the film I saw would have been a
    May 09, 2016 Τζο rated it it was ok
    Η ιστορια ξεκιναει την στιγμη που ο αντρας της Ολγας, ο Μαριο, την παραταει στα κρυα του λουτρου μετα απο 15 χρονια γαμου. Ξαφνικα βρισκεται μονη της με δυο παιδια, ενα σκυλι και ενα μυαλο γεματο εφιαλτες που την οδηγουν μερα με την μερα πιο βαθεια στην κολαση της αυτοαμφισβητησης,του θυμου και της αυτολυπησης.

    Η Ολγα ειναι ενας χαρακτηρας που δεν ειχες την τυχη να την γνωρισεις σε μια καλη εποχη στην ζωη της, για αυτο και οτι ειδες απο εκεινη ηταν λερωμενο με την βρωμα της εγκαταλειψης και της α
    Oct 23, 2014 Zadignose rated it it was ok
    Shelves: 21st-century
    If i were to review this work strictly for its best parts, I'd have to say this is a very good book. But just past halfway through, things start going wrong. There were already a few worries: self-awareness of an author writing about a writer, no incidental characters, kind of sketchy versions of people who aren't the protagonist. But there were some incredible elements too... I don't want to spoil the details, so I'll just vaguely say that there's an accident that has a Freudian slip aspect to ...more
    Jul 22, 2015 Marianne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The Days of Abandonment is the second novel by Italian author, Elena Ferrante. When Mario announces after dinner that he intends to leave Olga after fifteen years of marriage, she at first believes this is another “absence of sense”, as Mario referred to his infatuation with fifteen-year-old Carla, five years earlier. She tries to discuss things calmly, as they have always done: “I hated raised voices, movements that were too brusque. My own family was full of noisy emotions, always on display, ...more
    Shinjini Dey
    Sep 16, 2016 Shinjini Dey rated it it was amazing
    How would you describe this book?

    Oh, you know – surprisingly subversive.


    Raises the run of the mill story up a notch, and Ferrante is such a household name dealing with household themes.

    Is she?

    Of course, this one is about dealing with infidelity.

    Can I read you a passage from an article about Ferrante’s Neopolitan novels? It’s about their ‘trite’ covers, have you seen them? It was published in The Atlantic. Hmm. I’ll just go ahead. ‘But while Ferrante’s covers are definitely trite,
    Jul 06, 2016 Jill rated it it was amazing
    If The Days of Abandonment were a theatrical play instead of a novel, it would have to be performed in one act. Once begun, it is impossible to wrench oneself away from the extraordinary power of a this narrative of a 40-ish woman who navigates Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s four stage of grief (denial, anger, depression and acceptance).

    In a clear and non-pitying tone, Olga relates this: “One April afternoon, right after lunch, my husband announced that he wanted to leave me. He did it while we were cl
    Jan 05, 2016 rahul rated it really liked it
    Shelves: favorites, gbbw
    The five stages of Grief:
    The Kübler-Ross model first introduced by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying
    wherein the five stages of coping with grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
    Sub-consciously I could see all of these stages coming alive in this book and then ticking them of.

    It is funny as I write the lines above, to think that theorizing something like grief, or loss could make it less harsh or more bearable.
    I am sure it does
    Jan 08, 2015 Katherine rated it it was amazing
    After reading a few reviews I thought I knew what I was getting into. Hardly.

    I don't think I've ever read about abandonment in such a way. Realistic in it's dream-like anguish and rage - but extreme and frightening, the protagonist struggles to regain equilibrium and identity after her husband leaves her for a much younger woman (almost still a teenager). I once read that when couples divorce they'll often feel like they're losing their minds. Because when you become so intertwined with your par
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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...

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    “The circle of an empty day is brutal and at night it tightens around your neck like a noose.” 77 likes
    “Existence is this, I thought, a start of joy, a stab of pain, an intense pleasure, veins that pulse under the skin, there is no other truth to tell.” 43 likes
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