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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  5,299 ratings  ·  719 reviews
Luminously translated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, Ties is the searing new novel by bestselling Italian novelist Domenico Starnone.

is the story of a marriage. Like many marriages, this one has been subject to strain, to attrition, to the burden of routine. Yet it has survived intact. Or so things appear. The rupture in Vanda and Aldo's marriage lies
Kindle Edition, 144 pages
Published March 7th 2017 by Europa Editions (first published October 14th 2014)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  5,299 ratings  ·  719 reviews

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Validation is a monster we carry within us we seek it in abundance for the tiniest of things to the biggest of matters; and in the sordid event of its unavailability in external sources, we turn inwards and grab it nonetheless. We validate ourselves; we justify ourselves. Human mind has long been at the end of its wits, attempting to sieve the validation in a pragmatic funnel against a narcissistic one. But the success has been fleeting and regularly, illusional.

And within these enchanting
Elyse  Walters
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting introduction by Jhumpia Lahiri.... left me with mixed feelings. I didn't think it was 'terrible' but I didn't think it was 'terrific' either. Something felt 'odd'.

Domenico Starnone is rumored to be the husband of Elena Ferrante......
making this a bookend- companion to Ferrante's "Days of Abandonment".
Both books center around a couple's broken marriage. Their children are innocent victims.... I felt protective for them. The couple - both husband and wife are self- loathing. ---
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always late at night I get to finish many of the books I read, this was a huge mistake to have done with this book it late at night...
Starnone writes that it is a marvel, I would have read another 600 pages from his pen, and the 4 stars go for this gift and flair only.
This novel has left me really frightened, with my stomach all over me...
A broken marriage, where a healthy love never made it come... The members of this family make disgust (Aldo, Vanna, and their children Sandro and Anna) a
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, ebook, 2018

Ties by Domenico Starnone is well told and quite engaging story that reads like reversed version of Elena Ferrantes The days of abandonment. When the latter was written from perspective of abandoned wife and is a meticulous description of her anguish and struggles, first to save the marriage, later just to maintain sanity this novel gives us a picture of deserted wife through lens of her unfaithful husband. Ferrantes novel feels more emotional, raw and visceral, hysterical even. Domenico
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take a look at the cover artwork of the superb book, Ties, by Dominco Starnone. Look carefully. The cover artfully captures the theme: a man attempting to move forward who is crippled by his shoe ties and within seconds of taking a fall.

Those who have read Elena Ferrantes extraordinary books Days of Abandonment and The Lost Child, two of my favorite books ever will sense some similarities, which does not take away from the power of the book. The scenes are emotionally raw, filled with insight

My reviews of I giorni dell'abbandono and this book are interconnected . The beginning of each are the same.

Elena Ferrante published her work in 2002, while Domenico Starnone (husband of Anita Raja, the person behind the Ferrante pen name) published his twelve years later, in 2014.

I read them in the wrong order because I did not know what I have written above. Lacci came into my view in the GR feed, and I picked it up because I was looking for short works in Italian. Ferrante I had been
Jenny (Reading Envy)
"Love is just a container we shove everything into...."
A story about a longterm unhappy marriage that is brought into focus after a series of events. The first section is told in letters from the wife to the husband, the second section is told from the husband's point of view and contains a large amount of backstory, and the third section is told from the perspective of their children.
"We have both learned that we need to hide a great deal from each other, and tell each other even less."
Ties is brief and bracing, a portrait of a marriage falling apart after too many years of being held together by the finest threads.

It opens with a series of letters from a woman, Vanda, to her estranged husband, Aldo. We know from her phrasing that he is writing back, at least sometimes, but we don't see his replies, so we're left with a one-sided chronicle of broken, ferocious rage. Aldo has left Vanda for a younger woman, offering little explanation and even less consideration of the couple's
What a screwed-up family. But aren't all families kind of screwed-up? 3.5 stars
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
[3.4] This is a thought-provoking, unsettling novel about a troubled marriage and family. The writer packs decades into 150 pages and covers big issues - but left out any details that would make me care about Vanda, Aldo or their children. I'm guessing it would be a good discussion book.
Tea Jovanović
Serbian edition of this title had good marketing... So, the first print run is sold out quickly... And that's why I bought it... And although I've read it in one go (started this morning, finished in the afternoon), this novel left me cold... Hasn't stirred any emotion in me... Good translation... But I wasn't impressed neither by the language, style, plot... Maybe I am professionally overdosed with reading... Nothing special in this book, according to me...
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
(4.5) "Our parents destroyed us. They lodged themselves in our heads, and whatever we say or do, we keep obeying them."
Ties is a novel about the short and long term effect of the first grand infidelity, on a couple, on their adult children and even on the life of their cat.

As I began to read, I had a strange feeling of deja vu, or should I say deja lu, the voice of the woman who writes the letters in the opening chapters isn't the same, but the premise of her abandonment, being left with two children, it's as if this novel reignited elements of how I imagined Elena Ferrante's The Days of Abandonment which I read
Lucy Meeker
This book is excellent! It's well written and paced perfectly. This year I've read quite a few books that were good, except they would drag in parts. Not this book. I'm a slow reader, but whipped through this book because it was hard to put down.

I won a copy of this book from the publisher Europa Editions. Thanks!
Paul Fulcher
Aug 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Love is just a container we shove everything in to.

It is rather difficult to comment on Domenico Starnones novel Lacci without at least acknowledging the elephant in the room the way that the novel seems to respond to Elena Ferrantes excellent The Days of Abandonment. But I will say little more on that - see this review, which was reposted on the website of the UK publisher of both Ferrante and Startone - if you wish to see more discussion:

The novel
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: translations
I first heard about this book when I saw it on a list of possible MBI long listers. I am glad I read it even though it did not make the list. Similar to Ferrante, Starnone's novel is brimming with discontent. This novella is brilliant in how it is a tragedy, a mystery and a comedy of sorts all at the same time. The prose (& translation I assume) are clean & direct, which I really enjoyed.

After some discussion in the Man Bookering group about titles of translated fiction, I found the
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it

3.5 stars

I read this based on an rec sent via Instagram because I enjoy Elena Ferrante. This was beautifully written and once I started, I gulped it all up in one sitting. It left with a lot of thoughts and feelings that ended in a mixed review. I love the format, I love the way the story was fed out to us, I love the big themes of ties, of family, of happiness.

I didn't like the tropes this kind of fell into when it comes to literary fiction about infidelity. I didn't like that it painted the
I grew up on Dick van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Andy Griffith Show, and Get Smart. While families sometimes squabbled, they always ended up in a better place, supporting each other. People talked about their problems they were always small ones and worked through them.

Domenico Starnone's Ties centers around five people, one of whom we never meet. These are not a lovely, charming bunch; instead, they start out screaming

In case its slipped your mind, Dear Sir, let me remind you: I am your wife.
Maria Hill AKA MH Books
A five star read from the Moth Box April selection I think. The opening line is:

In case its slipped your mind, Dear Sir, let me remind you: I am your wife.

Filled with twists and turns this novella explores the real harm we can do to each other as a result of destructive relationships. This is a story about the ties that bind family and marriage together and the chaos unleashed should those ties ever be undone. It is told from three perspectives. The Wifes letters to her husband, written in the
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's Domenico Starnone who is really a woman. Suspiciously insightful. Hm...
Breathtaking. When I want to quote the entire book AND the entire introduction in my review, it suggests a certain something about the reading experience. This tightly contained, small novel about ordinary people contains rage, quiet betrayals, tectonic ruptures, emotional tempests and blackouts. No character is sympathetic, every character makes terrible choices upon other terrible choices, and yet we are drawn completely in to this strangled relationship, wrenched by the twisted, ultimately ...more
Anna Baillie-Karas
The story of a husband and wife who are tied together despite his infidelity. (Interesting as my last read Ghachur Ghochur was also about the entanglements of family). Vanda vents her anger with wonderful southern Italian drama; the husband is weak and self-centred; the children the sinister heart of the novel.

Realistic and claustrophobic, it reminded me of Elena Ferrantes Days of Abandonment. He makes memorable scenes out of small moments.

I appreciated more than enjoyed reading it: its
Maria Vittoria
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was good, kind of an Italian version of Portrait of a Marriage by Sandor Marai.

Would have the book been longer I would have rated it 3 stars, but the length is perfect for the story it tells (it takes a little more than 1 hour to read it all).

It was, after all, a pleasant reading.
Daniel Sevitt
Positively Lahirian. This was a great read and an interesting follow up to Lahiri's own book about learning Italian. She introduces her own translation here and explains why the book attracted her. There are certainly similarities of tone. Unknowable people who barely know themselves. Lives spent with emotions held back, denied, hidden. This was a layered novella that used different points of view within a fractured family to tell a connected story of brokenness and togetherness. It's not a tale ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lisa by: Russell
Emotionally raw, filled with insight and sadness, wrenching in its examination of the marriage between Aldo and Vanda.

The book opens with letters from Vanda, to her estranged husband, Aldo. This is a one-sided chronicle of her brokenness and rage. Aldo has left Vanda for a younger woman, offering little explanation and even less consideration and interest for their children, Sandro and Anna.

Part 2 is Aldo's account of their marriage, his love affair with Lidia, his relationship to his children.

Vivek Tejuja
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To learn a language and not do anything about it is what regular folk do. It just sits in their memory and without any practice or anyone to speak with fades from there as well. That is how language works more so when a new language is learned. But to actually do something the skills acquired with a lot of struggle, pain and heartache is perhaps what people like Jhumpa Lahiri do when they learn a new language. In her case, Italian and the translated work (by her) was Ties by Domenico Starnone.

Stephen Durrant
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If Starnone is indeed the husband of the eponymous Elena Ferrante, as some Italian journalists now contend, he is no less talented than his remarkable wife. "Ties" is a short novel filled with great emotional complexity and pain. It is the story of a man who leaves his wife and two children for a much younger woman. That is, in and of itself, a time-worn tale and can provoke a "oh-no-not-again" sigh. But in this case the estranged couple comes back together after a four-year hiatus, and we even ...more
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's amazing the amount of emotions revealed in a few pages ...
A simple, provocative, short, straight, direct and heartbreaking novel. It says a lot about family ties, drama, conciliation, forgiveness.
Domenico Starmone dominates the dialogues beautifully, without clichés, in a drama that involves real issues reaching all the characters including the cat.
Handles the metaphor very well to mark "ties" that hold and leave insurmountable marks. They are 3 parts with different points of view and
Kasa Cotugno
I'm always fascinated by couple authors, writers who are married to each other. While each maintains a distinct identity (Chabon/Waldman), I can think of other cases where there is a certain tone shared by both (Auster/Hustvedt). Here, I could not help but be influenced by the controversial revelation that Elena Ferrante is Anita Raja, a translator married to Domenico Starnon. Whereas this book is slim compared to those of the Naples tetralogy, it shares a quality of beautiful writing, character ...more
3.5 but not quite 4 because the writing is rather plain, yet fairly smart and efficient.
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Domenico Starnone (Saviano, 1943) è uno scrittore, sceneggiatore e giornalista italiano.

Ha collaborato e collabora a numerosi giornali (l'Unità, Il manifesto per cui è stato redattore delle pagine culturali) e riviste di satira (Cuore, Tango, Boxer), con temi generalmente improntati alla sua attività di insegnante di liceo.

Ha scritto con costanza su Linus, negli anni '70-'80.

Ha lavorato anche come

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