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La vida mentirosa de los adultos

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«Dos años antes de irse de casa, mi padre le dijo a mi madre que yo era muy fea». Así empieza esta novela extraordinaria sobre el descubrimiento de la mentira, el amor y el sexo, narrada por la inolvidable voz de Giovanna, una joven empeñada en conocer a su tía Vittoria, incomprensiblemente borrada de las conversaciones y álbumes de fotografías. Con ello desencadenará sin saberlo el desmoronamiento de su familia intelectual y burguesa, perfecta solo en apariencia.

Maestra absoluta de la intriga, Ferrante siembra la trama de sorpresas y anuda prodigiosamente la misteriosa historia familiar y amorosa en torno a una pulsera que pasa de mano en mano. Nadie como ella para describir la complejidad de las pasiones humanas y todas las intermitencias del pensamiento y el corazón.

364 pages, Paperback

First published November 7, 2019

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About the author

Elena Ferrante

37 books13.3k followers
Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous Italian novelist. Ferrante's books, originally published in Italian, have been translated into many languages. Her four-book series of Neapolitan Novels are her most widely known works.

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5 stars
11,162 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 5,849 reviews
Profile Image for Angela M (On a little break).
1,270 reviews2,217 followers
September 21, 2020

“Maybe everything would be less complicated if you told the truth.”

I’ll try to make my review less complicated with my honest thoughts. I’ve come across my fair share of dysfunctional families in many of the novels I’ve read, but this one - well dysfunctional is putting it mildly. I didn’t understand this family, their relationships with one another and with other characters. I definitely had a hard time getting into the melodramatic world of teenage Giovanna, even though she gets it right with the above quote. There were times when I felt sorry for her, but for most of the novel, she just got on my nerves. I just was not pulled into the lives of these characters at all. I found them all ridiculous. I tried, but I struggled. This was a monthly buddy read with Diane and Esil and if I had been reading it on my own, I would have abandoned it. I very much enjoyed My Brilliant Friend and still plan to read the other books in that series, since I own all of them, but this one just didn’t work for me . I’d be lying if I said it did.

I received a copy of this book from Europa Editions through Edelweiss.
Profile Image for Adam Dalva.
Author 7 books1,481 followers
September 2, 2020
Full Review: If The Lying Life of Adults, the marvelous new novel by the pseudonymous Elena Ferrante, doesn’t reach the soaring heights of her masterpiece, The Story of a New Name, that is mainly an issue of the Ferrantean accumulation—deep networks of supporting characters, all with rich inner lives—being limited by the confines of a mere 320 pages. With Ferrante, as with Tolstoy, there is always the implication of a few dozen extra chapters, known only to her...

Continue Reading on Guernica Mag: https://www.guernicamag.com/objects-o...
Profile Image for Orsodimondo.
2,101 reviews1,594 followers
April 25, 2021
L’AMORE MOLESTO


Marlene Dumas: Chlorosis (Love Sick), 1994.

L’amore è opaco come i vetri delle finestre dei cessi.

Nel romanzo d’esordio, L’amore molesto, una figlia adulta, Delia, tornava a Napoli per la morte della madre, suicidio in apparenza: nel cercare di scoprire le vere cause di quella morte, s’immergeva nei ricordi, e quindi nelle bugie della sua infanzia e in quelle della madre, ricostruiva la vita affettiva e sessuale della madre impregnata di passioni intricate e fascinosamente oscene. Un viaggio psicologico verso l’oscurità, l’ossessione, il morboso, segnato da ammirazione e paura, gelosia e curiosità, attrazione e repulsione, amore e rivalsa. Delia, adulta borghese, donna di cultura, emancipata al punto da avere abbandonato la città di nascita, “scendeva in basso”, rischiava di perdersi, si avvicinava pericolosamente al lato torbido e oscuro del vivere, sfiorava il male, ne subiva l’attrazione, faticava a resistere.


Marlene Dumas: Helena’s Dream, 2008.

Lo stesso percorso di Giovanna, Giannina, l’io narrante di questo nuovo romanzo: solo che Giovanna è un’adolescente che nel corso del racconto passa dai tredici anni iniziali ai sedici e poco più.
Napoli di sopra e Napoli di sotto, anche visivamente: perché Giovanna abita nella parte alta della città, in cima al Vomero, e per raggiungere la zia e i suoi figliocci deve scendere fisicamente oltre che emotivamente.

È sempre il lato oscuro, quello torbido che interessa Elena Ferrante, specialista della dark side della vita: immergere la penna, la tastiera, l’occhio e l’attenzione, sua e del lettore, in quei sentimenti e quelle emozioni di cui ci vergogniamo, che abbiamo difficoltà non solo a raccontare, ma anche solo a confidare, a sfogare. Mediocrità, malizia e malignità, gelosia e invidia, bassezza e cattiveria, sgradevolezze, meschinità, perfidia, maldicenza, asprezza, inganni e le bugie del titolo, che non appartengono certo solo alla vita degli adulti, perché i giovani imparano in fretta e bene, e cominciano molto presto a nutrirsi usare e manipolare la menzogna, la falsità, l’astuzia, la scaltrezza. A truccarsi davanti allo specchio e nell’anima.


Marlene Dumas: The Painter, 1994.

È come se tutti fossero animati da un’energia distruttiva che li trascina in basso dal decoro borghese raggiunto e costruito con sforzo tenacia e volontà.

In questo universo a predominanza femminile, tutto meno che un matriarcato, perché lo scettro del potere è saldo nelle mani dell’uomo, ma è un universo che Elena Ferrante riempie soprattutto di donne, se non altro perché le tiene più vicino al fulcro del suo racconto (la scrittrice, femminista dichiarata, dimostra comunque una fascinazione venata di sudditanza per l’uomo, come se fosse impossibile essere donna senza un uomo accanto), nel mondo di Elena Ferrante fa capolino per la prima volta un ritratto di uomo e maschio positivo, in cui può essere bello e piacevole specchiarsi e riconoscersi: Roberto Matese mi pare essere il suo primo personaggio maschile positivo a tutto tondo.
E, pur se in principio l’ombra di Nino Sarratore aleggiava, è presenza che si è presto dissolta.


Marlene Dumas: Per chi suona la campana, 2008.

È cambiato il mondo? Siamo cresciuti con il modello Pinocchio davanti, il burattino che si trasforma in bambino, diventando umano, nel momento in cui smette di dire bugie e il suo naso cessa di allungarsi. Qui, invece, Giovanna Giannina diventa matura quando impara una ben diversa lezione degli adulti: mascherarsi e truccarsi l’anima, come si fa con la faccia, è il segreto dell’essere adulti.

Nonostante il parallelo col romanzo d’esordio, che ho sentito forte, lo stile di scrittura è quello della tetralogia: martellante, incalzante, a volte asfissiante. Più volte mi sono sentito come il visitatore di una mostra a cui viene imposto l’uso dell’audioguida. Quando Elena Ferrante si stacca dal racconto dei fatti (fattarelli?), e s’allontana per una riflessione più generale, io ho goduto al meglio la sua voce. Altrimenti, avrei spesso gradito evidenziasse meno, riducesse le sottolineature, un minor numero di domande che la protagonista si pone a volte un po’ retoricamente, meno ripetizioni, più non detto, più libertà di fantasia per me lettore.


Marlene Dumas: Longing, 2018.

Oltre il parallelo Roberto Matese-Nino Sarratore, viene da considerare zia Vittoria una Lila senza luce. E anche vari altri personaggi hanno analogie con quelli della quadrilogia. Così come molte ambientazioni. Così come la scelta di un io narrante femminile che scrive a distanza di tempo dai fatti che racconta, accaduti quando era piccola, adolescente.
Chissà forse è per questo che alcuni lettori hanno soprannominato questo romanzo “l’amica bugiarda”.

…il male che, mentre ti pare di essere buona, piano piano o all’improvviso si diffonde nella testa, nello stomaco, in tutto il copro. Da dove nasce, volevo chiedergli, come lo si controlla e perché non spazza via il bene ma anzi ci convive.


Marlene Dumas: Mamma Roma, 2012.
Profile Image for Violet wells.
433 reviews2,893 followers
November 22, 2020
This novel has such an ingenious yet simple premise and it's a lot more topical than most reviewers have given it credit for. You sense Ferrante never dates the novel's events for this reason. Essentially, it dramatizes through a single family the conflict between the liberal well-educated elite and the poorly educated outcasts of social change. And fake news, of the family mythology variety, plays a big part.

The narrator, an adolescent girl, Giovanna, is the daughter of two intellectuals. On the surface her life is idyllic. It's a household which ostensibly prides itself on a democratic open exchange of views and the primary importance of culture and education and free speech. Both parents wear a facemask of liberal tolerance and candid sincerity. The novel begins at a crossroads moment in the daughter's life. The opening sentence is, "Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly." We soon learn she's not reporting accurately what he said. In fact, he compared her to his sister Vittoria who, because of her father's deeply ingrained loathing for his sister, is the personification of ugliness for Giovanna. She has never met any of her paternal relations. Her father has disowned them and marginalised them into insignificance. He maintains his sister was a degenerate and he was forced to break off relations with her because of an affair she had with a shifty married man, a moral stance which led to him breaking off relations with his entire family. What we understand is that her father has moved up a social class in a short time and has disowned his blood.

Our narrator naturally becomes more and more curious about her father's family and especially Vittoria. Vittoria works as a cleaner and lives in a desolate run-down neighbourhood of Naples. When she eventually meets her, Vittoria takes her to the grave of her former lover and tells the story of her great love which her brother vindictively ruined by telling the man's wife about it. Vittoria's claims of candour are expressed in crude volcanic language and often take a sexually explicit form. As if the truth, something ostensibly sparkling and crystalline in her parents' world, is something more coarse and ugly, of the blood, for Vittoria. She tells a version of the family history which makes of Giovanni's father a snaky liar. She then asks her about a bracelet she gave to her brother to give her. Giovanna has never received any bracelet. This bracelet will become a kind of oracle, telling truths at key moments of Giovanni's journey of discovery none of the adults will admit until coerced.

Our narrator recognises aspects of herself in Vittoria and suddenly finds herself belonging exclusively to neither part of her family. The adults with their webs of lies have created a kind of court case and turned her into the jury. Truth in this novel is often little more than applied cosmetics.

I've seen many have found this novel overly laden with drama but you might say Neapolitans live closer to their hearts than most of us and don't as a rule garage their feelings. I think anyone who has experienced any kind of family feud - all of us? - will recognise the murky opportunistic nature of truth telling in such conflicts. That said, I agree there a few times when Ferrante can be a little heavy handed with the drama when a more subtle touch would be better. However I woke up eagerly looking forward to reading more of this novel every single day and, essentially, that's what one asks of a book.
Profile Image for Paul Fulcher.
Author 2 books1,135 followers
January 9, 2021
It’s good that you’re spending time with people who are better than you, it’s the only way to go up not down.

The identity of the “neighbourhood” in Elena Ferrante’s epic Neopolitan Quartet was not explicitly mentioned in the novels but those who knew the city soon recognised the setting as the Rione Luzzatti district, even pinpointing the tunnel that plays a key role in the first part as Lila and Lenù attempt to escape the neighbourhood to the sea to one on the Via Emanuele Gianturco:

description

Ferrante’s latest novel, beautifully translated by Ann Goldstein, is much more explicit as to location, creating a memorable evocation of early 1990s Naples, and enabling the google maps user (in these Covid-19 non-travel days) to literally follow in the characters’ footsteps. The novel begins:

Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly. The sentence was uttered under his breath, in the apartment that my parents, newly married, had bought at the top of Via San Giacomo dei Capri, in Rione Alto.

Everything—the spaces of Naples, the blue light of a frigid February, those words—remained fixed. But I slipped away, and am still slipping away, within these lines that are intended to give me a story, while in fact I am nothing, nothing of my own, nothing that has really begun or really been brought to completion: only a tangled knot, and nobody, not even the one who at this moment is writing, knows if it contains the right thread for a story or is merely a snarled confusion of suffering, without redemption.


The narrow street Via San Giacomo dei Capri rising to the Rione Alto area is our teenage narrator (the novel covers around four year from her aged 12 to just after her 16th birthday) Giovanna’s father’s equivalent of Lila and Lenù’s tunnel.

description

Moving there, to the top of that hill, marls his escape from the Pascone district, and the Industrial Zone, where he was brought up (the depths of the depths of Naples), and where his family, particularly his sister still live, a place and a family he now repudiates. Indeed the opening words of the novel are actually Giovanna’s interpretation of her father comparing her bitterly to his sister, in an angry conversation with her mother, not meant to be overheard:

All I could hear from my room was that she was giving him a summary of the teachers’ complaints, and I understood that she was bringing up as an excuse the changes of early adolescence. But he interrupted her, and in one of the tones that he never used with me—even giving in to dialect, which was completely banned in our house—let slip what he surely wouldn’t have wanted to come out of his mouth:

“Adolescence has nothing to do with it: she’s getting the face of Vittoria.”

I’m sure that if he’d known I could hear him he would never have used a tone so far removed from our usual playful ease. They both thought the door of my room was closed, I always closed it, and they didn’t realize that one of them had left it open. So it was that, at the age of twelve, I learned from my father’s voice, muffled by the effort to keep it low, that I was becoming like his sister, a woman in whom—I had heard him say as long as I could remember—ugliness and spite were combined to perfection.


But this only prompts in Giovanna a desire to meet her aunt, to see if there is a resemblance, and using a street atlas, she works out the path that she could take to get there, something I’ve attempted to recreate using Google maps.

description

(see https://i.ibb.co/WBcBJ5C/map3.jpg for a larger copy)

Giovanni inevitably finds herself drawn to her aunt and her district, particularly when, as the opening lines of the novel and it's title rather hint, her parents' marriage proves to be built on a lie. Although the tension between raising herself (literally in the city, and figuratively) and lowering herself remains key to the story.

Another wonderful novel from one of our finest writers. Intriguingly it ends on a note that would seem to leave space for a sequel(s), although this may be wishful thinking as the quartet was planned, and indeed written, as such all along, a single novel published in four parts. But I look forward to what Ferrante brings us next.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Ruxandra (4fără15).
239 reviews4,252 followers
August 23, 2022
E interesant ca după tetralogia napolitană să treci la alte povești scrise de Ferrante. Aici, cel puțin, lipsesc sclipirea, suspansul, relațiile încâlcite dintre personaje și, într-o anumită măsură, contextul politic mai larg care m-au făcut să îndrăgesc așa de tare Povestea noului nume sau Cei care pleacă și cei ce rămân. În același timp, încep să-mi dau seama acum că Ferrante are tendința să-și "recicleze" personajele: într-o protagonistă ca Giovanna, de exemplu, o recunoști ușor pe Elena Greco (o variantă mai bleguță a ei, dar cu aceeași senzație permanentă de inadecvare, preocupată în mod similar cu lupta femeii pentru independență intelectuală și emoțională), iar mai târziu apar convenabil un intelectual bad boy de speța lui Nino Sarratore, o prezență feminină distructivă tip-Lila Cerrullo... vechile piese de lego se așază în structuri noi, dar mai șubrede. În orice caz, un bun portret al unei tinere în fața căreia se năruie, la finalul copilăriei, lumea fabricată atent de adulții din jur, valorile fragile impuse de figura paternă, clopotul de sticlă al vieții comode și burgheze într-un Napoli divizat de inegalități sociale.
Profile Image for Baba Yaga Reads.
116 reviews1,364 followers
September 8, 2020
Se questo libro mi fosse stato recapitato sotto forma di fascicolo anonimo, senza indicazione di titolo o nome dell’autore, credo che avrei impiegato poche righe per capire che si trattava dell’ultima fatica di Elena Ferrante. Gli ingredienti ci sono tutti: Napoli, descritta nei suoi particolari più vividi e grotteschi; una protagonista insicura e a disagio col proprio corpo; legami familiari instabili e ammantati da un’aura di sordido mistero. Eppure, nelle prime duecento pagine ho avuto l’impressione che mancasse qualcosa — o per meglio dire, che l’autrice fosse ricaduta in uno dei suoi vecchi difetti: il ricorso costante all’orrido per il solo gusto di suscitare ribrezzo.

Perché quando la Ferrante scrive bene, scrive benissimo; ma quando scrive male riesce a sfornare obbrobri degni di Cento colpi di spazzola prima di andare a dormire. E qui gli obbrobri non mancano: dalle minuziose descrizioni degli episodi di autoerotismo della protagonista tredicenne, fino ad un imbarazzante monologo in cui la zia della ragazzina le illustra i dettagli della propria vita sessuale, l’autrice sembra determinata a sottolineare che la sua è vera Letteratura Trasgressiva fatta per scandalizzare i benpensanti. La conseguenza è che il romanzo, come quasi tutte le opere scritte apposta per scioccare, finisce per diventare mortalmente noioso.

Non aiuta il fatto che Giovanna rappresenti in maniera perfettamente realistica la tredicenne media, ovvero un’adolescente egocentrica, melodrammatica e totalmente assorbita da se stessa. Avere tredici anni una volta nella vita è già abbastanza brutto di per sé, figuriamoci quanto può esserlo rivivere quell’esperienza con gli occhi di un adulto. Questi due fattori — il senso di repulsione e vago imbarazzo per le terribili scene di sesso, unito al senso di repulsione e vago imbarazzo per i comportamenti della protagonista — hanno fatto sì che i primi due terzi del libro risultassero, per me, piuttosto irritanti e ripetitivi. Li ho comunque divorati in poche ore, dato che la prosa scorre come acqua fresca, ma leggendoli in maniera svogliata e con un vago senso di fastidio.

Poi sono successe due cose: Giovanna ha iniziato a superare l’età ingrata, ed è arrivato Lui.
Lui non è un personaggio: è un archetipo. Un archetipo che nella letteratura è sempre stato curiosamente assente, e che quest’autrice ha imparato a rappresentare con straordinaria maestria e realismo psicologico. Lui è, almeno per quanto mi riguarda, il vero segreto del successo della Ferrante: perché l’attaccamento che una lettrice come me può provare nei confronti di Elena, Lila o Giovanna non potrà mai eguagliare il sentimento di odio puro che tutte noi abbiamo sentito nei confronti di Nino Sarratore.
L’autrice lo sa, e nel suo ultimo romanzo ci regala una versione riveduta e corretta (ma non per questo meno detestabile) del soggetto in questione. Il risultato è che la sua presenza dona una spinta sostanziale alla trama, allargandone la prospettiva e ponendo nuovi obiettivi alla protagonista. Insomma: la sezione finale del libro è avvincente, ritmata, struggente come le parti migliori dell’Amica Geniale. E mi ha fatto voltare l’ultima pagina chiedendomi: ma quindi, quando esce il secondo volume?
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,687 reviews14k followers
Read
September 20, 2020
I finished this book, skimmed the last part but did not dnf it because it was Esils , Angela's and my buddy read. I am, however, going to leave it unrated because I disliked this book immensely. These people are seriously strange, not a likable character among them. It is overdramatic, full of introspective teenage angst, and people who acted in ways I didn't understand. This is when you can say, come on Diane, tell us how you really feel. Sometimes books just rub us the wrong way. This one did.
Profile Image for Ines.
316 reviews185 followers
September 20, 2020
RECENSIONE ITALIANA IN FONDO😉

I have just closed the book and I feel inside a whirlwind of feelings and emotions...... unfortunately not all positive, in fact, what predominates most here, is this sense of toxicity. The relationships we will find here narrated, are blindfolded by this sense of suffocation and poison. Giovanna is growing up in this ambiguous, disguised and intoxicated family of fiction, untruth and tenderness... but where can she find herself if all that her heart seeks is only satisfaction of the instinctive need and disguise of sin?
The desire to know Victoria, the aunt so much hated by her parents, will only plunge her into a sick reality, of events steeped in relational bipolarity.
All the characters we will know and will have for Giannina( Giovanna), roles always different and conditioned by the events of the moment, live also themselves nailed by a fragmented reality of events, stratified of circumstances used as in a "theater of fiction".
Margherita, Angela, Ida, Mariano,Costanza,Giuliana,Corrado,Tonino..... they will move around the life of Giannina nailed by an ever-ending look at themself, at the meager gain that is of affection, morals or relationship of the moment, of the circumstance...
This is the feeling of toxicity that I experienced during the reading, where the hope of a healthy look of good, of respectful tenderness cannot exist for this humanity that we will know.
I thought that the word" lie" was the center of all this story, rather than lie or mask.... what came to my mind and corresponded better was the word" sin" or" iniquity". A river of pain and relationships vitiated by conjectures of thought always based on the instant satisfaction of the moment, the discomfort of not controlling the others, the condition not gone as expected.
A vastness of concealment of the "ME" and sin, extra-marital relationships, of bad friendships and relationships, of control over the destiny of those around us. Wow, How this poor Giovanna could ever grow up, esteem and look loving her parents as she looked at them as she was a child?
In all this narration one thing is always missing , the absence of Forgiveness and Mercy; also the encounter with Roberto, perhaps the only solar and positive character in the narration, which introduces Giannina to an opaque concept of God, He too, is swallowed up by this living satisfying impulses and circumstances of the moment.
God, who appears, yes, for a moment, but soon forgotten within the gospel books of Andrea, father of Giannina, who will give them to his daughter.
Perhaps in the end it will come to a grain of good embrace between Victoria ( the evil aunt) and her brother Andrea (Giannina's father), but always conditioned by a convenience for a better job for her sister.
Giannina will live this continuum of emotions and pain day after day, in continuous mutation almost from an hour to the next one.
But, is it always sin and lies that determine my life? Is it evil sin that has the last word on my destiny? In the last page Giovanna will leave for Venice, and so the novel is closed... and I found myself saying, "What is your truth Giovanna?.. I really hope you know what you’re running from, and what you’re looking for..."




POST SCRIPTUM: in these hours, from the moment i put this review on GR, i received many messages asking me if this book will worth the reading or is kind depressing as the other two books of her i cited down in the under messages. Well... yes, a book always deserves to be read, you must create your own opinion about, this is mine and it could be completely opposite or wrong for your point of view😉.
About the future english translation: I have no idea about the translation that Madame Goldstein will donate to you, so curious about it!! there are many mixed italian/dialect concepts, words, phrases so difficult for us italian to uderstand perfectly in on sight that i have no clue how she will translate and let you understand fully the meaning!! I am sure she will create a perfect english version as she has been able to do for all the Neapolitan novels!


Henri Matisse, Portrait of Yvonne Landsberg


Ho appena chiuso il libro e mi sento dentro a un turbinio di sensazioni ed emozioni...... purtroppo non tutte positive, anzi, quello che predomina di piu' è questo senso di tossicità. Le relazioni che troveremo qui narrate sono bendate da questo senso di soffocamento e veleno. Giovanna e il suo crescere in questa famiglia ambigua, mascherata e intossicata di finzione, la troveremo alle prese con il desiderio struggente di amore, verità e tenerezza...... ma dove mai potrà trovarlo se tutto quello che cerca il suo cuore è solo appagamento del bisogno istintivo e camuffamento del peccato?
Il desiderio di conoscere Vittoria, la zia tanto odiata dai suoi genitori, non farà altro che farla piombare in una realtà malata, di eventi intrisi di bipolarità relazionale.
Tutti i personaggi che conosceremo e avranno per Giannina( Giovanna) ruoli sempre diversi e condizionati dagli eventi del momento, vivono anche loro inchiodati da una realtà frammentata di eventi, stratificata di circostanze utilizzate come in un teatro della finzione.
Margherita, Angela, Ida, Mariano,Costanza,Giuliana,Corrado,Tonino..... si muoveranno intorno alla vita di Giovanna inchiodati da uno sguardo sempre fine a se stesso, al guadagno misero che sia di affetto, morale o relazione del momento, della circostanza...
E' questa la sensazione di tossicità che ho vissuto durante la lettura, dove la speranza di uno sguardo sano di bene, di tenerezza rispettosa non può esistere per questa umanità che conosceremo.
Riflettevo che la parola bugia fosse il centro di tutto questo racconto, più che bugia o maschera.....ciò che mi veniva in mente e mi corrispondeva meglio era la parola peccato e iniquità. Un fiume di dolore e relazioni viziate da congetture di pensiero sempre basate sulla soddisfazione istantanea del momento, del fastidio del non controllo sull'altro, della condizione non andata come si aspettava.
Una vastità di nascondimento dell' IO e peccato, relazioni extra matrimoniali, di amicizie e relazioni malate, di controllo sul destino di chi ci sta accanto. Caspita, ma sta povera Giovanna come avrebbe mai potuto crescere,stimare e guardare amando i propri genitori come li guardava da bambina?
In tutto questo narrare manca sempre una cosa , l'assenza di Perdono e di Misericordia; anche l'incontro con Roberto, forse unico personaggio solare e pieno di positività nel vivere, che introduce Giannina ad un opaco concetto di Dio, viene fagocitato anche lui da questo vivere soddisfando impulsi e circostanze del momento.
Dio, che appare sì, per un momento, ma ben presto dimenticato dentro ai vangeli di Andrea, papà di Giannina che li regalerà alla figlia...
Forse alla fine si arriverà a un granellino di abbraccio di bene tra Vittoria e suo fratello Andrea, ma sempre condizionato da una convenienza per un lavoro migliore per la sorella.
Giovanna vivrà questo continuum di emozioni e dolori giorno dopo giorno, in continua mutazione quasi da un'ora all'altra;,...
Ma è sempre il peccato e la bugia a determinare la mia vita? E' il male e la malvagità ad avere l'ultima parola sul mio destino? Nell'ultima pagina Giovanna partirà per Venezia, e così si chiude il romanzo... e io mi sono ritrovata a dire, " Qual'è la tua verità Giovanna?.. spero tanto tu sappia da cosa stai scappando, e cosa cerchi..."
Profile Image for Sofia.
294 reviews5,929 followers
April 15, 2021
I'm disappointed.


This isn't the kind of book I normally read, but I picked it up because I saw it in a literary magazine and I figured it would be okay. I had expectations that were not met.


This book is about a girl named Giovanna who overheard her parents comparing her looks to her Aunt Vittoria. She has never met Vittoria, but she assumes that her aunt is ugly because her parents hate her so much. She goes on a journey to find her reflection, which takes her to her aunt and beyond.


The main problem I had with this book was that the teenage narrator didn't feel like a teenager. She didn't think like one, she didn't talk like one. She felt like a middle-aged woman succumbing to ennui.


The dialogue was extremely stilted and lacked vitality. There was no emotion driving the story. This is one of the rare instances when I regret not having listened to the audiobook instead. (To be clear, I have never listened to an audiobook.) A real narrator might have brought this to life. But on paper, it was dull and bland and lacked passion.


1.5 stars
DNF
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
3,850 reviews34.9k followers
September 5, 2020
NO SPOILERS
Audiobook....narrated by Marissa Tomei (Marissa was a ‘great’...reading this book). One audiobook reviewer said they thought Tomei ‘over-acted’ her reading. For me she enhanced the storytelling.

Sooooooo.....???
....A fan of the Neapolitan 4 book series? (Book 1, was my least favorite- by far— but the next 3 books were so darn juicy good- I wanted more).
Overall, I loved the series.

....Enjoyed a few other stand alone Ferrante novels - but not all equally? That’s how it’s been for me.

....Curious about how this newly released novel measures up to past work by Elena Ferrante? I think it’s Elena’s best ‘stand-alone’ book to date. But....I'm left thinking about this book with a wide range of thoughts and feelings.

Since I’m sure there are many professional reviews and other reviews sharing the plot and main storyline: I’m going to focus on my feelings and thoughts.

First my feeling:
.....HOLY SH*T! They are mixed.
There was so much teenage angst — associated and entangled with her parents — then her aunt Vittoria— wanting and needing their approval desperately- becoming obsessed with her ‘Giovanna-ok-ness’ — ‘her beauty’ - ‘her worth’ - that it became a brain drain. Giovanna knew how to zap the energy out of me.
I wanted to shake her and yell: “SHUT THE F#CK UP. FOCUS ON YOUR LIFE...MOVE ON....LEAVE THE ADULT PROBLEMS TO THEM. UNHOOK, ALREADY!”......ha...but then we might not have a story at all.

Other feelings:
...... a few scenes were so verbally & visually unsettling....smelling like a dirty toilet ....I was a little creeped out.

......I admit being hooked following most of the perverted dialogue,......(brutally disgusting at times but honest), but when it was repeated - over and over - I felt irritated. (enough already). I felt this book was a combination of ‘page-turning gripping’ & window-book-tossing at the same time. Is that even possible? I guess I’m saying it feels like this is a masterfully written ‘love/hate’ novel.

.....There wasn’t one cozy-warm-lovable character ....but I can’t deny this book drew me in.

..... I have more mixed feelings about the ending. Either a 2nd book is on its way....( Elena was much better in her 2nd book of the Neapolitan series so this could be the same - positive -pattern)....
or.....we had a quick-stop unsatisfying abrupt ending. ( so deal with it).

Thoughts:
.....When I shared this book - naughty parts and all with Paul, including other spoilers ( one I didn’t see coming at all - but made this book more interesting), then told him that this is going to be a Netflix Original Series.....
He said: “enjoy yourself”....he’d pass.
My thoughts were - and still are - kinda defensive FOR this book.....
It’s compelling. It’s well written. It’s reactivating. It’s petty, indulgent, a coming of age original, .....
......but Elena is so damn talented at having us look at dark emotions straight on .... then sinks them in the deep water .... until finally we come up for air questioning... what the heck just happened?

Exhausting... ( not negative...just fitting to the story itself), unsentimental...highly anticipated novel...it’s deep and multifaceted as love is.
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,089 reviews7,947 followers
September 8, 2020
Ferrante never fails. The Lying Life of Adults is her first standalone (and first work of published fiction) since her mega-hit Neapolitan Quartet. It's hard to follow-up such a critically acclaimed series but she's done it with a tightly crafted and gripping story in this new novel.

Giovanna's father calls her ugly. But not only ugly—that her face is like that of his sister, Vittoria. That comparison, to a woman whom Giovanna knows her parents are less than fond of, in fact have nearly completely cut out of their life, sends her into an existential panic. As she's coming of age—the book begins when she is around twelve years old—she grapples with issues like romance, sex, puberty, friendships, and family through the socio-political lens of Naples. The higher parts of the city are where she finds refinement, but also delusion. Down below, in the darker, grittier neighborhoods, she finds filth, but authenticity. To which part of the city does Giovanna belong? And what will she discover about herself through this voyage into the city and beyond the walls of her home?

As always, Ferrante's writing is fierce and Ann Goldstein's translation is effortless. This is definitely a character-driven story which succeeds precisely because the characters are so strong. Giovanna is the perfect character through which the reader gets to experience the story: she is malleable yet holds strong convictions; she is easily swooned but skeptical of traditional romantic roles and gender expectations; she simultaneously feeds into the cycles she so actively skewers with her sharp tongue and caustic wit.

Perhaps the story itself is a bit slow. At times, even a bit redundant. But it's made up for with vividly imagined characters who jump off the page and probes themes that will resonate with readers across a wide spectrum. Ferrante fans will have something to love in this story, for sure, and it's one I am positive I will find myself returning to again in the future.
Profile Image for Pedro .
184 reviews377 followers
November 17, 2020
I think it’s safe to say that Ferrante is being marketed as “woman’s literature”. I mean, just look at the cover. Or worse, look at the cover of My Brilliant Friend. Dreadful, isn’t it? But understandable, I guess, especially if we think that her stories revolve about marriage and family dynamics and the majority of readers are women.

So here’s my advice to you, my friends, don’t let yourself be misled by these terrible marketing choices (unless you like fluffy reads) because Elena Ferrante is not a fluffy writer at all.

Ferrante is a great writer and an even better storyteller. I can’t find anything to complain about. In all honesty I find her writing and the way she tells a story strong to the point where sometimes it feels like her novels have been written by a team of talented people working together with the purpose of delivering the “perfect” bestseller. This probably doesn’t make much sense to you but that’s how I feel so I can’t see any reason not to mention it. And besides I’m saying it as a compliment and that’s always a good thing, right?

Speaking of compliments, I’ll have to praise the translator. Once again, her work was spotless.

This story, as I mentioned above and just like Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels revolves mostly around marriage and family dynamics, but I found it to be a lot more controversial. From its opening lines to the unsettling (and a bit cringeworthy) ending this is an ambiguous story destined to divide opinions and/or even make some of its readers angry.

I was never angry though, I’ll have to say. I was actually in awe of the way Ferrante was able to capture so much about what it meant and felt like to be a teenager (in the 1990’s). It was spot on!

The ending wasn’t actually an ending, and things were left in a way that makes it (totally) possible for Giovanna to keep on telling us her life story. And I hope she does. I definitely want more.
Profile Image for Trudie.
515 reviews547 followers
October 30, 2020
If this is your first experience of Elena Ferrante, welcome, and I certainly hope it will not be your last. The Neapolitan Quartet, of which My Brillant Friend (2012) is the first novel, rises like Mt Vesuvius itself as a highlight from the last decade or more of my reading. I would encourage readers new to Ferrante to start here and maybe followup with the excellent TV series. Much of the joy of Ferrante comes from being plunged so immersively into Neopolitan culture ( Ferrante's longtime translator, Ann Goldstein does a seemingly effortless job in making this accessible to an English language audience ). Ferrante writes with such lush exuberance, it borders on melodrama and yet she captures something essential about female friendships.
Obviously, given this experience with her previous novels, I was pretty excited for The Lying Life of Adults, but to quote the novel -

The truth is difficult, growing up you’ll understand that, novels aren’t sufficient for it

The Naples of the opening chapter is vividly familiar; a city of two halves. The mean streets of the impoverished industrial zone where characters speak in a coarse dialect contrasted with airy apartments inhabited by a refined intelligentsia extravagantly debating philosophy while secreting having adulterous affairs.
There is much to-ing and fro-ing by funicular.
This is a story of adolescent girls and how they come to understand the adult world. It's quite a frank and awkward meditation on teenage sex, so far so very like Ferrante's previous novels ( at this point it does feel a little like Monet trying to get his Waterlillies right ).

The central character, and our teenage narrator, Giovanna, generally moons about ruminating upon her parent's duplicitousness, if she is or is not ugly ( this drove me nuts ) and morphing into some teenage intellectual rebel. While Ferrante does get to the heart of the adolescent mindset, I would argue this is a story trapped in a later time period than the 1990s era it was aiming for.
Life in Ferrante's novels is felt so INTENSELY, where this worked well in her earlier work, here it manages to be both melodramatic and boring. The key takeaways ? - growing up is difficult, adults lie (so do teenagers), cheating is endemic, men (even intellectuals!) are deeply flawed individuals often blind-sided by thighs. In short, it feels slightly old-fashioned and even a little icky.

With this being said, there is magic here. Naples as a city is gloriously revealed and peopled with an interesting and complex cast of characters. Giovanna's Aunt Vittoria is a memorable creation, by turns extremely ugly and beautiful, crass, cruel and sometimes kind. Unfortunately, like a comet, she blazes indelibly through the first half of the novel and then plummets from view. These are all flawed characters, every single one is, at some point boorish, breast-obsessed, or just plain toxic. It's fun for a while, and my love affair with Ferrante's writing never really wanes but eventually, there is a realisation that this is all a bit of a mess.
Ferrante fans may find enough joy in just re-entering this world but it saddens me to report that this feels like a lesser offering from an author I have come to deeply admire.
Profile Image for Dalia Nourelden.
475 reviews601 followers
January 24, 2023
" حقيقة صعبة ، ستفهمين ذلك حين تكبرين ، إنها شئ لا تكفي معه الروايات .

أكاذيب ، أكاذيب ، يحظرها البالغون ثم يتفوهون بكثير منها "


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كعادة ايلينا تخوض فى العلاقات الشائكة ، والأفكار الشخصية والمخاوف التى نتهرب منها والتى نحاول ان ننكرها ولا نلفظها بصوت عالى . باختصار ايلينا بالنسبة لى تكسر المظاهر ، تارة مع الصداقة وتارة مع علاقات الزوجين وتارة إحساس الامومة وتارة علاقة الأبناء بالآباء . وهذا على وجه الخصوص مما يعجبني فى ايلينا.
هنا مثلا شعرت منذ البداية ان ايلينا استطاعت وبإتقان تجسيد المراهقة واضطرابتها وأفكارها ووساوسها وتخبط ثقتها بنفسها ومقارنة حياتها وشكلها بالآخرين وتخبطها فى الحياة وفى قرارتها بشكل ممتاز يستحق التحية والإعجاب . حقيقة ابهرتنى رغم ان البعض قد يجدها قد بالغت فى هذه المشاعر لكني أراها اجادت التعبير عنها

إن زمن مراهقتي بطئ ، مكون من عوائق كبيرة ورمادية ومنحنيات مباغتة


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بجانب تجسيدها هنا لعلاقة الابناء بآبائهم في هذه الفترة ، تمردهم ، شعورهم بامتلاكهم لابائهم ، رفضهم وانتقادهم لآبائهم . الانتقاد الذي يصل لحد الحكم عليهم والنظرة التى قد تصبح سيئة وربما مهينة أحيانا .والحديث عنهم بأسلوب غير لائق ومهين مع الآخرين كأصدقائهم مثلا . او التجسس عليهم والبحث وراء أفعالهم.

" كان كلاهما يبدوان لي مرارة مزعجة لا تنقضي ، وجزءا غير لائق مني يجب إزالته "

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وربما ذلك قد يسبب بعض الضيق للبعض خاصة الآباء والأمهات .لكن فلنواجه الأمر ولنكن صريحين هذا يحدث كثيرا على أرض الواقع ولا يعنى كره الأبناء لآبائهم لكنها غالبا تكون فترة وتمر فيما بعد مع النضج فى حالة طبعا اذا كان الآباء جيدين بالفعل .

- هناك الشئ الأصعب في سنك : تبجيل الأب والأم . ولكن عليك أن تجربي ، هذا مهم
-- لم أعد أفهم أبي وأمي
-- ستفهمينهما عندما تكبرين
.


كما اننا فى الحياة عامة حين لا نواجه اوضاع معينة بأنفسنا يكون حكمنا عليها خارجيا ، عقلانيا ، مختلفا ، وقد ننتقد بسهولة رد فعل الآخرين، نقول احيانا من المستحيل ان افعل كذا لكن حين تجد نفسك فى الموقف نفسه قد تختلف تصرفاتك وردود أفعالك عما ظننت نفسك ستفعل . وهذا ايضا بالطبع بجانب اننا كبشر مختلفون وشخصياتنا ومشاعرنا مختلفة فمن المنطقي ان تكون ردود افعالنا مختلفة .

في عمر الثانية عشرة ، علمت من صوت والدي المكبوت لشدة ما اراد إبقاؤه خفيضا ، أنني أصبح مثل شقيقته، المرأة التى - بحسب رأيه الذي سمعته منذ أن تشكلت ذاكرتي _ يبلغ فيها الوفاق بين القبح والحقارة حدود الكمال

بالصدفة تسمع جوفانا والدها وهو يخبر أمها
لا شأن للمراهقة ، وجهها يصبح مثل وجه فيتوريا .
عمتها فيتوريا التى
" كانت تمثل بعبع الطفولة، الشبح المتيبس والممسوس ، الطيف الأشعث المتربص في زوايا البيوت عندما يهبط الظلام

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" اسم فيتوريا كان في بيتي شبيها باسم كائن شنيع ، يوسخ ويعدي أى أحد يمسه . لم اكن اعرف عنها سوى القليل او لاشئ ، وما رايتها إلا نادرا


فتتفجر بداخلها الرغبة في معرفة عمتها فيتوريا والتقرب منها وتتفجر بداخلها الافكار وتتسائل هل ستصبح مثل عمتها فيتوريا ؟ لماذا قال والدها هذا ؟ لماذا لم تعارضه أمها بقوة ؟ هل سبب كلماته غضب مؤقت أم انه يعبر عن رؤيته لها
‏لذا أقنعت نفسي بأنني إن نويت النجاة حقا، فلا بد لي من الذهاب لأرى كيف يبدو وجه العمة فيتوريا في الواقع "

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ونبدأ الرحلة مع جوفانا للبحث عن عمتها وهل هى حقا تشبهها ؟ وهل الشبه شكلا فقط ام طباعا وشخصية أيضا ؟ ��ما سر هذا الكره بين ابيها واخته ؟ وفيتوريا لم تترك فرصة إلا وأظهرت هذا الكره
فيتوريا كان كل همها ان تتحدث بالسوء على والدي وكانت تطالبني بالإصغاء جيدا. ارادات أن أدرك لماذا تكن له الغل "


نتعرف هنا على مشاعر وافكار وحياة جوفانا المراهقة وعلاقتها بأبيها وأمها وسنلتقي بشخصيات اخرى كثيرة كعائلة ماريانو صديق ابيها و زوجته كوستانسا صديقة والدتها وبناتهم انجيلا وإيدا صديقات جوفانا كما سنلتقي فيتوريا ونتعرف من خلالها على مرغريتا وأبنائها تونينو و كواردو وجوليانا ثم روبرتو وروزاريو من خلال جوفانا وعلاقتها بهم .

كنت اريد لحظة تنفيس ، لا كلاما، ولا أسرارا ، لا أريد إلا انفجارا للألم .

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رحلة للتعرف على تخبطات جوفانا وتأثرها بعمتها .رحلة للكشف عن المستور واكتشاف أسرار دامت لسنوات طوويلة ، أسرار سيتسبب تكشفها فى كثير من المشاكل والاحداث والتخبطات . السوار الذي بسببه ستتكشف الكثيير من الأسرار التى ظلت لسنوات مختبأة فى العتمة

" تركت الأيام تمضي ، حائرة بما ينبغي فعله ، ثم فكرت أن لى الحق بحياة تخصني ، لا أضطر فيها إلى القلق المتواصل حيال آراء والدي ، والدليل أنهما لا يكترثان بآرائى أبدا "


كانت جوفانا تذكرني فى بعض الاحيان وفى بعض تصرفاتها بلينو من رباعية صديقتي المذهلة . حتى فى النهاية تركتنى قائلة ياالهى لا تفعلي مثلما فعلت لينو بغباء . كرهت حقا ما فعلته.


تستخدم ايلينا احيانا بعض العبارات والتعبيرات الفجة والتى يمكن احيانا وصفها بالسوقية لكنى شعرت احيانا انها تستخدم الكلمة المناسبة لطبيعة الشخصية نفسها وطريقة حديثها . ربما يتضايق البعض من بعض تعبيراتها ولن انكر انها احيانا كانت تصدمنى لكن فى ذات الوقت ومثلما قلت غالبا ما تكون بالفعل مناسبة لطبيعة الشخصية وحياتها ومكان معيشتها . او نتيجة لرغبة الشخصية فى التمرد . كما انى كنت أتوقع من تعليقات بعض المراجعات اكثر من ذلك و اجد انها ليست سببا قويا لكره الرواية او انتقادها .

اعتقد الرواية دى هتعجب المراهقين وهتضايق الآباء والأمهات 🙈😂 وفى رأي الشخصي المتواضع هذا يدل على مهارة ايلينا فى رسم شخصيات رواياتها وإيصال مشاعرهم وأفكارهم
بالنسبة لي أعجبتنى شكرا عزيزتى ايلينا على انكى لم تخذلينى ❤❤
١٨ / ٧ / ٢٠٢١
Profile Image for Bianca.
1,011 reviews869 followers
October 24, 2020
The Lying Life of Adults was my most anticipated book of the year. I added it to my TBR a year ago, it didn't even have a cover at the time.
For me, there is no other writer like Ferrante. I've read many books about adolescents, most of them tend to be on the cutesy, sentimental, even purist side, especially if the main character is female. Ferrante's teenage girls are raw, contrary, angsty, challenging and not necessarily sweet. They're complex and complicated, good and bad.
Twelve-year-old Giovanna, raised in an intellectual, middle-class household realises that she'd been lied to by her parents, whom she used to idealise. Her father's off-hand comment triggers her insecurities and the search for a long-lost aunt.

Many of the themes in the Neapolitan novels reappear: class, double standards, education as a means for social mobility, the use of language as an indicator of socio-economic status, complicated familial relations, the loss of innocence, adults hypocrisy. At times, you'll be made uncomfortable by the rawness, uncensored thoughts, especially when it comes to sex. I don't recall any other authors writing about the duality of feeling aroused while also finding the sex prelude, the male appendage not as appealing as one imagined based on novels, movies, drawings (this novel takes place in the 1990s).

Ferrante's writing speaks to my heart and mind like no one else's.

I shall miss Giovanna, just like I missed Lena and Lila.

NB: Marissa Tomei's narration was top-notch.
Profile Image for Jessica Woodbury.
1,563 reviews1,934 followers
August 22, 2020
When an author becomes one of your favorites, any new novel is an exercise in both excitement and anxiety. Will it be as good as the rest? Will your expectations be too high? I was nervous, I admit, especially since as years pass the Neapolitan Quartet has only become more beloved and singular in my mind. But I found relief very quickly, within just a few pages I was back with that unique, blunt prose of Ferrante's (with Ann Goldstein's translation), and back in the mind of a complicated female character.

You can never really call any Ferrante novel a joy because they are about all the ways it is difficult to be a woman. There is not much joy in them. I wasn't sure I was excited about an adolescent protagonist, even though I have gone through it with Ferrante before, but what she wants to focus on here is part of growing up.

This is a book about how you start to be repulsed by the same adults you have always loved deeply. It is about discovering that people are complicated and flawed and not the simple, kindhearted beings they try to convince you they are, especially when your'e a child. It is about coming into your own body, seeing yourself as an object. And it is, maybe more than anything else, about beauty. It is about how women's beauty is intertwined with their value, both for others and women themselves. How you present yourself to the world and how it validates or contrasts with what you are underneath. It is beauty as approval and the ways one can reject both that approval and beauty itself.

The way Ferrante works in her themes is fascinating. She is not subtle about them, but she never comments on them even though her characters can consider some of their thoughts in great detail. There are plenty of tangible symbols in this book that stand in for the shifting feelings of the characters, to show us how they feel and where their allegiances lie. There is also, as you probably expect, a lot on class. Although Giovanna, our protagonist, is the child of two teachers, well brought up and with a very different background than Elena, she discovers early on that her father's family was lower class and she is compelled throughout the book to move between the two classes even as she is often totally unaware of the ease and privilege she has.

Giovanna's feelings towards every character in the book change almost constantly. Her teenagers are so accurate, so volatile, so reactive. The slightest thing sends them careening in the opposite direction. That love and hate, the stirring of conflicting passions, the way Giovanna never needs to explain or examine these sudden shifts are so true to the age and make you remember not just how it feels to be a teenager on the inside but how inexplicable all of it looks from the outside.

It was very nice to give myself over to this book for a few days, even if it stirs up so many thoughts and emotions around gender, sexuality, family, class, and just about everything else. If you've read Ferrante before, you already know to expect uncomfortable scenes, specifically around sex. This is certainly less violent than the Neapolitan novels and while there is a lot of sexual activity that characters do not particularly want, it is more of persuasion and curiosity than coercion.

This novel fits in well with Ferrante's work, it has many of the themes she comes back to over and over, but in a new setting with new characters that give them new life.
Profile Image for Diane Barnes.
1,211 reviews453 followers
September 9, 2020
Four well deserved stars for the writing, and for getting inside a teenage girl's mind between the ages of 12 and 16. Since I was a teenage girl long ago, and since I raised a teenage girl not so long ago, I can attest to a lot of the insecurities and strange behaviors that are exhibited by Giovanna. In the first sentence, she overhears her adored father telling her mother that Giovanna is getting ugly. This sets off a chain of events that creates upheaval for several families, strains loyalties, and will have you thinking twice about the power of words to destroy. This is Elena Ferrante after all, so the power of men to bestow beauty and confidence one minute, then take it away the next, is also a large part of the plot.

Four years in the life of an adolescent girl forms the woman she becomes. "I learned, just at that moment, that it was impossible to stop growing up". Yes indeed.
Profile Image for Gaetano Pagano.
1 review611 followers
November 12, 2019
A mani basse, uno dei romanzi migliori dell'anno.
C'è un momento nella vita in cui ci si rende conto della possibilità del male. Elena Ferrante, con un magnetismo che mette quasi paura e uno stile da fare invidia ai migliori scrittori viventi, riesce a costruire un romanzo impeccabile attorno a una ragazza che contempla questa terrificante possibilità. Incredibile.

"Si fanno azioni che sembrano azioni e invece sono simboli, lo sai cosa sono i simboli, questa è una cosa che ti devo spiegare, il bene diventa male senza che te ne rendi conto".
August 28, 2021
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(mini-Italian review at the end)

“L'amore è opaco come i vetri delle finestre dei cessi.”


(I'm no Ann Goldstein but the above quote can be roughly translated to: “Love is as opaque as the windows of a shit-house”).

In this latest novel by Elena Ferrante, La Vita Bugiarda degli Adulti (or The Lying Life of Adults in its English translation) we are confronted with a narrative that challenges the myth of happy family (in altre parole il mito della 'famiglia del mulino bianco').
The novel opens in what could be regarded as the story’s ‘inciting incident’, one that sets off our protagonist on a fraught journey from childhood to adulthood. Set in Naples during the nineties, the very first line of La Vita Bugiarda degli Adulti informs that: “Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly” (“Due anni prima di andarsene mio padre disse a mia madre che ero molto brutta”). Our narrator, Giovanna, remembers with painful clarity the effect that these overheard words had on her at the age of twelve. Once heard, they could not be unheard. It is perhaps because this word, ‘ugly’, is uttered by her loving father—a father who used to tell her of how gorgeous (‘bella’) she was—that it has such devastating consequences.
Giovanna, the daughter of two well-educated teachers, who mainly move in intellectual circles and appear to be well-adjusted in life, begins to see her parents through a new lens. Her parents are not part of an invincible and united entity whose main purpose in life is her happiness and wellbeing. Once Giovanna begins to see these ‘cracks’ in their marriage and in their parenting, she begins to resent them for their lies. The word ‘ugly’, her newfound awareness of her parents’ and other peoples’ lies, weigh heavily upon her, so much so that her life seems to take a downward spiral.

A key player in Giovanna's fracture from her parents is her father's estranged sister, Aunt Vittoria. When Giovanna starts questioning why she has never met her father's side of family she unearths a decades old feud between her father and Vittoria. In many ways it is discovering that her father 'cut off' Vittoria from his existence deeply perturbs Giovanna. However, as she begins to spend more and more time with Vittoria, she seems to experience some odd sense of satisfaction from the possibility of angering her parents or of damaging their image of her. The more her parents stress Vittoria's 'ugly' personality, the more Giovanna feels compelled to imitate her, modulating her behaviour in a way that makes her rather misanthropic.
Vittoria's way of existence seems to Giovanna to be diametrically different to the other adults in her life. Unlike her parents and their acquaintances, Vittoria lives in what many consider to be a disreputable area, she gets by working 'menial' jobs, she speaks in a strong dialect, and she's frequently blunt to the point of vulgarity. Vittoria's mercurial personality, her propensity to hold a grudge, and her endless tirades, reminded me a lot of another anti-intellectual, Emerence from Magda Szabó's The Door (their only difference seems to be that Vittoria is religious). Vittoria seems to plant a seed of doubt in her niece's mind. Is Giovanna's father the mean spirited man Vittoria makes him out to be? Is he lying to Giovanna? Is everything he told her a lie ?

Giovanna's identity crisis is dominated by an almost pathological self-hatred. She obsessively checks her face and body, looking for traces of Vittoria's 'uglyness' in herself. Later on she seems almost elated in discovering the ability to say things to hurt others and finds some sort of power in discovering that a lot of older boys find her biting words and those physical attributes she herself hates to be enticing.
This novel focuses on the way in which Giovanna's teenage years are clouded by bitterness and a general ill-feeling. Her parents, like many other parents, seem to believe that as long as she does well in school, she is fine. Giovanna however has no wish to keep adults' pretences of happiness, politeness, and decency. She wants to denigrate others as well as herself, she wants to hurt and lie to other people.
Giovanna would not be out of place in a novel by Ottessa Moshfegh. She is egocentric, morbid, and deeply alienated. She is bored by her peers and sick of her parents' falsities. And while it is clear that she wishes to be an adult, her self-hatred and deep-seated insecurity do not really allow her to mature. More than once readers might find her rage and unhealthy behaviours as signs of adolescent angst. Giovanna however takes herself very seriously: small gestures and or words uttered in distraction can, and often will, have a debilitating effect on her.

While I was reading this novel Ferrante's writing reminded me more than once of Gustave Flaubert. Their proses give the impression of having being laboured over: each word seems to have been especially chosen and placed in the right position. Also, this novel's opening lines (where Giovanna overhears her father saying that she's ugly) seem Madame Bovary
: “How strange,” thought Emma. “The child is so ugly!” (for those who are wondering, the child in question is Emma's own daughter). I wasn't surprised to discover that Ferrante's La frantumaglia mentions this passage: “Now I read Flaubert’s letters, his other books. Every sentence was well shaped, some more than others, but not one—not one ever had for me the devastating force of that mother’s thought: C’est une chose étrange comme cette enfant est laide!
Time and again the narrator returns to these words. Her fear of being ugly, that is of having a disagreeable if not bad personality, plagues her during her teenager years. While at times Ferrante could be a bit tedious (especially when we read how many times Giovanna feels or believes herself to be horrible) I was somewhat fascinated by her narrator's self-loathing diatribes. Ferrante manages to depict the way in which Giovanna is affected by each one of her negative emotions or thoughts, paying incredible attention to the nuances that accompany these complex feelings. Giovanna often feels many things all at once. Her self-hatred is often accompanied by a sense of self-satisfaction; when she speaks cruel words to her mother she feels both empowered and vaguely disgusted.
Ferrante is almost meticulous in the way she identifies and describes Giovanna's various states of mind. Her Italian is simply captivating and I often found myself in awe of her word choices, her use of repetition, alliteration, and specific tenses.
The fluidity of her writing distracted me from Giovanna's overwhelmingly negative worldview. Still, I can't say that Ferrante's writing completely makes up for her rather uneventful story. Giovanna seems to go into frenzies over the smallest things. While most readers are aware that teenagers often tend to 'magnify' certain events, they might find Giovanna's tendency to think and feel in extremes and her perpetual state of self-torment to be rather testing. And while Ferrante's writing is strikingly ambivalent, eloquently crisp, simultaneously expressive and subtle , there were certain passages that seemed rather self-indulgent. While for the most part Giovanna's exploration of her sexuality struck me for its realism, the way in which she describes male bodies seemed unnecessarily apathetic. Ferrante has the tendency to describes male genitalia as if it was an abstract sculpture. Giovanna never uses the more common Italian word for penis (or vagina for that matter) resorting instead to old-fashioned terms (the story is set in the nineties, not the fifties).

This is a rather heavy going novel. Our main character spends most of the narrative hating herself or others. The bitterness, loathing, repugnance, and envy experienced by Giovanna, as well as her solipsism, her growing aversion towards her parents, her general ill-disposition, and her frequent lapses into bouts of truculence, make her rather hard-going, if not downright unsympathetic, character.
While Ferrante is precise when she articulates these painful and disruptive teenage years, her characters could have been more fleshed out (they all seem to play the one role in Giovanna's life: the parents are liars, Vittoria is chaotic).
Still, if you are interested in reading of a realistic passage into adulthood and/or you are a Ferrante devotee you might find La Vita Bugiarda degli Adulti to be a deeply compelling read. Giovanna's narrative is simmering with barely concealed rage: towards our parents' lies, their expectations, their hypocrisy, their falsehoods, and their very vulnerability.
Ferrante is unflinching in her portrayal of Giovanna's early adolescence and provides a context to her existential malaise and fury. Through her incisive prose she chronicles Giovanna's despair, her paranoia, her crippling self-loathing, her despair (over her changing body and her family's circumstances), and her obscure, wilful, and frankly perplexing states of minds. As Giovanna becomes aware of her own limitations and of her own misperceptions, she seeks to protect herself by embracing a more ephemeral existence. The ending of this novel is almost jarring and does not feel as cathartic as Ferrante seems to imply it is.
Nevertheless I probably would pick up another novel by Ferrante.


Due righe in italiano:
Premettendo che il mio italiano ormai è stato anglicizzato (insomma, si è arrugginito) volevo esprimere un attimo il mio parere riguardo La Vita Bugiarda degli Adulti. Ferrante è una scrittrice eccezionale, su questo non ci sono dubbi. Ammiro davvero il suo modo di scrivere, i termini che usa (come e dove li usa). Purtroppo i suoi personaggi erano eccessivamente sgradevoli. I ragazzi, con l'eccezione di Roberto, erano tutti uguali (capisco che ci sono gli ormoni in balla ma potevano avere delle personalità un poco più complesse). I genitori di Giovanna e zia Vittoria finiscono ai margini della storia. Roberto e la sua ragazza erano blandi. Giovanna mi ha dato abbastanza sui nervi (nella sua testa si sussegue una smania dopo l'altra).
Anche se la Ferrante tratta temi un pò deprimenti, scrive in una maniera così magnetica e scorrevole, che diventa facile perdersi nelle sue righe.

Profile Image for Come Musica.
1,458 reviews343 followers
February 21, 2022
Elena Ferrante ha la capacità di catturare l'attenzione del lettore con quel suo modo tipico di narrare, fatto di dialoghi serrati, in cui le frasi dialettali non stonano, anzi, sembrano quasi doverose per l'ambientazione che sceglie per i suoi romanzi.
Al centro della vicenda c'è Giovanna, Giannina, un'adolescente che poco alla volta scopre che la vita degli adulti con i quali è cresciuta è piena zeppa di bugie e finzioni.
E tutto in questo romanzo sembra estremo, come estrema è per un adolescente (ancora di più se l'adolescente è una ragazza) la fatica di crescere e di approdare nel mondo degli adulti.

"Tutto – gli spazi di Napoli, la luce blu di un febbraio gelido, quelle parole – è rimasto fermo. Io invece sono scivolata via e continuo a scivolare anche adesso, dentro queste righe che vogliono darmi una storia mentre in effetti non sono niente, niente di mio, niente che sia davvero cominciato o sia davvero arrivato a compimento: solo un garbuglio che nessuno, nemmeno chi in questo momento sta scrivendo, sa se contiene il filo giusto di un racconto o è soltanto un dolore arruffato, senza redenzione."

E tra le pagine emerge questo "dolore arruffato" di sentirsi amata dai propri genitori, di avere le attenzioni di sua zia Vittoria e di sentirsi bella, mentre allo specchio non vede altro che difetti fisici: "E conclusi presto che le preoccupazioni non erano affatto passeggere, forse non erano nemmeno preoccupazioni ma cattivi sentimenti che mi si allungavano per le vene."

Un dipanarsi di tradimenti e di torti, come tanti tasselli che prima o poi trovano il loro posto.
Ma quanta fatica per Giannina trovare la sua dimensione, il suo posto.
Al centro di tutta la storia c'è un attore impersonale: un braccialetto che passa di braccio in braccio e che in qualche modo è un po' un oggetto della malasorte: "Il braccialetto, da qualsiasi lato lo si esaminasse, in qualsiasi tipo di storia lo si inserisse – una favola, un racconto interessante o banale – metteva in evidenza soltanto che il nostro corpo, agitato dalla vita che gli si torce dentro consumandolo, fa cose stupide che non dovrebbe fare."
I grandi interrogativi di Giovanna, mentre osserva il mondo degli adulti fatto da innumerevoli distorsioni, diventano un po' i nostri: "Cosa succedeva, insomma, nel mondo degli adulti, nella testa di persone ragionevolissime, nei loro corpi carichi di sapere? Cosa li riduceva ad animali tra i più inaffidabili, peggio dei rettili?" E la conclusione amara è solo questa: "Bugie, bugie, gli adulti le vietano e intanto ne dicono tante."

Tanti i temi trattati, dall'amore per il sapere, alla difficoltà delle relazioni famigliari, ai tradimenti, all'amicizia, alle prime infatuazioni, fino a toccare anche la religione: «Dio è questo: uno scossone in una stanza buia di cui non trovo più il pavimento, le pareti, il soffitto. Non c’è da ragionarci, non c’è da discutere. È questione di fede. Se credi, funziona. Se no, no».
Un po' come avviene con la poesia: «La poesia è fatta di parole, esattamente come la chiacchiera che stiamo facendo. Se il poeta prende le nostre parole banali e le libera della chiacchiera, ecco che esse, dall’interno della loro banalità, manifestano un’energia inattesa. Dio si manifesta allo stesso modo».

Che fatica crescere per chi è intelligente e sensibile. Ma soprattutto che fatica liberarsi da certi condizionamenti famigliari che si possono arginare, ma mai, mai del tutto cancellare. E l'unico modo per sbocciare è quello di aprirsi al mondo, aprirsi alla vita, senza tutta l'angoscia come quella che mette addosso Giuliana "Com’è bello viaggiare, com’è bello conoscere una persona che sa tutto, ed è straordinaria per intelligenza e bellezza e bontà, e ti spiega il valore di ciò che da sola non sapresti mai apprezzare."

Questo libro vuole essere anche un avvertimento per gli adulti che hanno a che fare con adolescenti (il cui mondo è meravigliosamente incantevole): "Sta’ attento a quello che dici, mi è già cambiata la faccia per colpa di mio padre e sono diventata brutta; non giocare a cambiarmela anche tu facendomela diventare bella. Sono stanca di essere esposta alle parole altrui. Ho bisogno di sapere cosa davvero sono e quale persona posso diventare, aiutami."
Profile Image for Lisa.
1,380 reviews518 followers
September 24, 2020
This novel propelled me directly inside Gianni's head, with such an immediacy that I remembered myself vividly as a young teen. And yes, adults are horribly duplicitous! Gianni's journey is confusing, jarring and frustrating. So I can't say I enjoyed every page or bonded with it as I did the Neapolitan novels. Yet, a superb novel.

(I started with the print book and switched to audio which was unusually dramatized by Marisa Tomei but I thought worked well)
Profile Image for William2.
729 reviews2,825 followers
Want to read
November 24, 2020
I generally despise coming-of-age stories. Too much happiness. But not with Elena Ferrante. No matter how happy her characters are, you know that in time their joy will be annihilated by self-hatred and personal failings.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,171 reviews35 followers
August 22, 2020
2.5 rounded down

Classic Ferrante writing, but the problem is there’s no plot... and what does happen doesn’t appear to be building to anything bigger. Tedious stuff.

I got to 40-something percent and realised reading further was not going to increase my enjoyment of this novel. A real shame, as this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year, but there’s no point slogging through something I’m not getting anything out of.
Profile Image for Kamal.
320 reviews340 followers
November 15, 2020
قبل عامين من مغادرة والدي بيتنا، قال لوالدتي إنّني قبيحةٌ جدًّا. نُطِقَت الجملةُ بصوتٍ هامس، في الشقّة التي حصل عليها والداي حالما تزوّجا، في ريوني ألتو، عند قمّة سان جاكومو دي كابري. ظلَّ كلّ شيء على حاله: أمكنة نابولي، الضوء الأزرق الطاغي على يومٍ متجمّدٍ من شهر فبراير، وتلك الكلمات. أمّا أنا فانزلقتُ بعيدًا، وما زلت أنزلق حتّى الآن، داخل هذه الأسطر التي تحاول أن تمنحني حكايةً، بينما في الواقع لا شيء، لا شيء منّي، لا شيء قد ابتدأ حقًّا أو وصل إلى نهايته بالفعل: سوى حالة فوضى لا أحد يعلم – حتّى الذي يكتبها في هذه اللحظة – إن كانت تحتوي على الخيط الناظم لحكايةٍ ما أم أنّها مجرّد ألمٍ مشتَّتٍ لا شفاء منه.
رواية جديدة لإيلينا فيرانتى الكاتبة الغامضة من حوارى مدينة نابولى الساحلية الإيطالية، رواية ليست كسابقتها، صديقتى المذهلة، والتى تعرفنا من خلالها على الكاتبة المخضرمة وأحببناها، فإذا كانت "صديقتى المذهلة" تحتفى بميراث الطفولة فإن "حياة البالغين الكاذبة" تستدعى آلام المراهقة.

جوفانا
قصة عن جوفانا المراهقة ذات الأثنى عشر ربيعاً ابنة الأستاذين، أندريا ترادا المدرس المهتم بشئون السياسة وفعالياتها ووالدتها الأستاذة نيلا التى تعيش كظل لزوجها، والذين تنقلب حياتهم رأساً على عقب ذات ليلة حينما تسمع جوفانا أبيها يتحدث لأمها ويصفها، ابنته، بالقبيحة التى تشبه عمتها فيتوريا، وكعادة المراهقين ظلت تقارن جوفانا نفسها فى المرآة بمثيلاتها لتجد أنها أقل حظاً منهم فى الجمال، لتبدأ مرحلة المراهقة بإنعدام ثقة بالنفس يجعلها ظلاً لكل من تعرفهم لاحقاً.

فيرانتى هنا تحلل وتشرح آلام المراهقة التى بدأت بعزلة نفسية وعقدة اضطهاد من الأب والأم وأزمة انعدام ثقة بالنفس كابدتها جوفانا، ثم تصاعدت الأزمة بالتمرد على الأب والأم ومن ثم بحث مستمر وشك ونقد للدين والله، إنتهاءاً بالتمرد على حياة المراهقة وإصرارها على فقدان عذريتها – رغم تحذير عمتها فيتوريا – ومن ثم التمرد على المكان وهجر نابولى.

ستتسائل فى النهاية: هل تبرئ فيرانتى المراهقين من خلق حالة العبث والفوضى فى حياتهم وتعزوها للمشاكل الأسرية وإنفصال الأب والأم كما فى حالة جوفانا، أم تعزوها لعوامل وراثية كحالة فيتوريا التى لم تحب إنزو وكانت تعرف بأنه متزوج ولديه ثلاثة أبناء وعلى الرغم من ذلك قررت أن تهبه نفسها من دون زواج وهى تعرف أن حبهما مستحيلاً فى النهاية.
على العموم فيرانتى ستتركك مشدوهاً من مشهد النهاية منزعجاً منتظراً ربما جزءاً جديداً يوضح مصير جوفانا وما آلت إليه حياتها؟.
عائلة ماريانو
أنجيلا صديقة جوفانا التى اختطفت قلب صديقها تونينو لكن سرعان ما تحولت من ناحيته فتراها عاجزاً عن أن يكون شرساً ذو أنياب يستطيع الدفاع عنها فى مجتمع لا يرحم الضعفاء وقليلى الحيلة.
إيدا التى تصغر جوفانا بعامين ولكنها ستكون رفيقتها فى رحلة التحول من مرحلة المراهقة إلى النضج والبلوغ وهجران نابولى للإنضمام ربما لتونينو فى البندقية.
ماريانو الأب المخادع والمخدوع وكوستانسا الأم الخائنة

عائلة ترادا
أندريا والد جوفانا كان لديه أخ (نيكولا) وأختان (آنا وروزيتا) علاوة على فيتوريا والتى كانت سبب القطيعة بينه وبين العائلة على خلفية رفضه لزواجها من إنزو المتزوج والعائل لثلاثة أطفال وتمسكه بنصيبه فى بيت والده وإصراره على عدم تركه لفيتوريا.
عائلة إنزو
الشرطى الذى أحب فيتوريا وأحبته من خلال مرآة الحب العمياء، فإنزو كان متزوج من مرغريتا ولديه ثلاثة أبناء سيكون لهم دوراً رئيسياً فى حياة جوفانا، تونينو الذى أحبته جوفانا وكورادو الذى عرفها على روزاريو وعالم نابولى الملوث وأخيراً جوليانا خطيبة روبرتو الشاب المثقف والطموح الذى يعيش فى نابولى لكنه يحب جوليانا التى لم تحصل على القسط الكافى من التعلم فتبدو كمن لا تليق بروبرتو.
السِّوار
هنا لاعب مختلف فى حياة جميع الشخصيات، سوار كان لحماة إنزو سرقه إنزو لإهدائه لفيتوريا التى بدورها أهدته لأبنة أخيها حديثة الولادة جوفانا وكأنها تسلمها ميراث ما كسبته من علاقتها بإنزو والتى كان أندريا والدها سبباً فى نهايتها، لكن أندريا يهديه لكوستانسا عشيقته التى بدورها تعيده لجوفانا إلى أن يستقر أخيراً فى يد جوليانا الوريثة الحقيقية للجدة وللسوار.
أخيراً أقول لأصدقائى هذه رواية ستعيدكم لذكريات صديقتى المذهلة ولأجواء نابولى الأحياء الراقية والحوارى الفقيرة التعيسة ستسعدون بها جداً ولكن أحذر من السقوط فى فخ التقليل من الرواية أو تركها على خلفية المشاهد ال+18 والتى ستجعلنى أنقص تقييمى للرواية نجمة واحدة.
Profile Image for Kalliope.
684 reviews22 followers
September 26, 2020



For those readers for whom Elena Ferrante is a familiar author – and anyone who has completed her tetralogy – this book will not surprise them. Either for those who enjoyed her saga as well as for those who weren’t convinced.

The style is similar, the setting is similar, the structure is similar. This, however, is a standalone novel which makes it more compact. In L’amica genial I found the fourth, and possibly the third volumes somewhat contrived. In those books, the plot had to keep moving at the expense of making the characters turn around their central axis 180 degrees more than once. With La Vita we have a sturdier and more modern ‘Bildungsroman’, for instead of unfolding the development of a young man in a new (urban) environment as we encounter in the nineteenth century prototypes of the genre, we have a rather young girl (twelve) becoming a young adult (sixteen) who has to deal less with a city (although the city is a major determinant, as I will discuss below) and more with the twisted world of adults, with their tangled stories and motivations.

And tangling is also the way Ferrante writes so that I found myself picking it up again very willingly every time I made a pause. I am still trying to identify what it is in her writing that ensnares the reader (at least some) – whether it is the plot or the voices that she gives her characters.

Naples is again the major scenario, as it happened in L’Amica. And now that I am reading Erri de Luca’s Napòlide, who insists on presenting the city not as Southern but as Central, both in the Italian Peninsula and in its soul - the Mediterranean -, Ferrante however follows the stereotype of confronting it to the northern Milan. The civilized North versus the chaotic South. In La Vita, though, we get a broader social portrayal of Naples. We move from the hilly and well-to-do Vomero, to the idyllic Posillipo, to the working-class area of the Pascone (north of the Rione Luzzatti where L’amica focused), and with these moves we are presented with the underlying social issues and tensions.

Ferrante again surprises the reader with the changing portrayal of any given character as time unfolds and shifting viewpoints. In this novel she succeeds better than in the tetralogy, may be because with just one volume she does not have to stretch out the mechanism to an implausible level. And her strength again is the force and impudence of some of her characters. The ending, though, was for me a bit silly.

***

I read this in Italian and listened in parallel to the Audio version read by the actress Anna Bonaiuto - the same who read Ferrante's tetralogy. She featured as Pablo Neruda's wife in the film "Il Postino".
Profile Image for Raul.
270 reviews197 followers
September 17, 2020

The Hell That Is Puberty

This is the story of Giovanna, an adolescent middle-class girl living in Naples. Her father had worked to climb the social ladder and has been successful at it, her mother has maintained her social position and it is expected that Giovanna will make her life decisions cautious not to "go down". Giovanna becomes acquainted with her Aunt Vittoria who lives in the poorer neighbourhoods of Naples and who forces her to really look at the prim and proper structure filled with custom and propriety, and sure enough she begins to see the cracks.

While disillusionment is occurring, Giovanna becoming aware of the falsehoods, infidelities and betrayals of adults, she also experiences that grand physical and mental shift that is puberty. Ferrante writes of how confusing and disorienting that phase of life can be, exploring budding sexuality, friendship and love.

I loved the The Neapolitan Novels and was excited when this book was finally available for me to borrow. The last thing I wanted was to not like the book simply because it wasn't the Neapolitan books, but Ferrante's brilliant storytelling more than made sure that wouldn't be the case. I however don't remember the Neapolitan novels being as risqué as this one was, and at first was confused as to why a book centering an adolescent would be so sexual and then I remembered my adolescence and it all made sense.

Profile Image for Ana Cristina Lee.
631 reviews224 followers
April 30, 2022
La FF (Fórmula Ferrante) esta vez no me ha funcionado. Me gustó la tetralogía de La amiga estupenda por su manera de narrar tan natural y seductora, por tomar el punto de vista de mujeres poco convencionales y por un retrato eficaz de ese Nápoles del que sus protagonistas quieren huir hacia el mítico norte de Milán y Venecia.

Creo que ha sido la voz narrativa de esta adolescente complicada, con la que no he podido sintonizar. Tampoco los otros personajes me han resultado interesantes ni simpáticos y la trama es muy repetitiva, hecha de episodios banales. Yo la titularía 'Las tribulaciones de una niñata' y con eso lo digo todo. Hay muchas alusiones al dialecto napolitano y a los matices - supongo que muy significativos - que el uso del lenguaje introduce en los personajes, todo lo cual inevitablemente se pierde con la traducción.

¿Y aún así le doy 3 estrellas (o 2,5)? Pues sí, porque la narración sigue siendo muy poderosa y no es un libro que puedas abandonar fácilmente, eso hay que reconocerlo.
Profile Image for Grazia.
366 reviews152 followers
November 23, 2019
"L'amore è opaco come i vetri delle finestre dei cessi"

Ebbene sì.
Sono caduta io pure nella rete della Ferrante, chiunque essa sia.

Non avevo mai letto niente di suo. Di solito, per principio, rifuggo i romanzi seriali: non amo seguiti o seconde parti da cui, solitamente rimango delusa nonché intrappolata.

Il modo di scrivere della Ferrante è quello che definisco voltapagina. Era tempo che non mi ritrovavo nel cuore della notte a leggere con l'impellenza e la curiosità di sapere.

Una storia ben raccontata e con contenuto, merita sempre. E questo è il caso. Le vicende di Giovanna e di chi le sta accanto, prendono chi legge e fanno fare pensieri e paralleli.

È chissà, magari mi lancio pure con l'Amore molesto o giù di lì.
Profile Image for Lucy Dacus.
87 reviews11.7k followers
September 10, 2020
Familiar elements if you've read her other work. I was worried at first about it being redundant but it wasn't, and she's such a magnificent writer that I probably wouldn't have cared if it was.
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