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The Story of a New Name: A Novel (Neapolitan Novels, 2) Paperback – September 3, 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 3,415 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The second in a trilogy, book two rejoins narrator Elena Greco and her "brilliant friend" Lina Cerullo as they leave behind their claustrophobic Italian girlhood and enter the tumultuous world of young womanhood with all its accompanying love, loss, and confusion. Against the backdrop of l960s/70s Naples, the previously inseparable girls embark on diverse paths. At 16, Lila has married the prosperous local grocer, Stefano Carraci, only to discover at their wedding reception that he has already betrayed her and damned their union. Conversely Elena has chosen education, a less traditional route to free her from the stultifying village life. Lina asks Elena to hide a box of notebooks from her husband. Instead, she dumps them in the river but not without first reading them. Ferrante masterfully combines Elena's recollections of events with Lila's point of view as documented in her notebooks to drive the narrative. The women's fraught relationship and shifting fortunes are the life forces of this poignant book.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Ferrante continues the beautiful tale she started in My Brilliant Friend (2012) with this brilliant second book of a promised trilogy. At 16, best friends Elena and Lila are weary of their impoverished neighborhood and its crippling traditions, but while Lila seeks to alter these circumstances through an advantageous marriage, Elena strives to leave it behind by pursuing her education. When Lila’s marriage fails to help her realize her goals, she becomes increasingly spiteful, and Elena, busy with an acceptance to college, grows critical of her progressively unpredictable friend. Once reliant on one another, the girls now find themselves occupying very different spheres in the rapidly changing landscape of 1970s Naples. As circumstances alternately draw them close and push them apart, they face difficult changes in the friendship that has always been their strongest source of love and support. Ferrante’s writing is captivating and insightful. She delves deeply into the character of the girls’ friendship, ushering them into womanhood with an honesty that is acutely personal. Her keen grasp of emotional nuances and minutiae evokes the work of D. H. Lawrence, and the richness of her storytelling is likely to please fans of Sara Gruen and Silvia Avallone. --Cortney Ophoff

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Europa Editions; Reprint edition (September 3, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 471 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1609451341
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1609451349
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.11 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.3 x 1.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 3,415 ratings

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Elena Ferrante is the author of seven novels, including four New York Times bestsellers; The Beach at Night, an illustrated book for children; and, Frantumaglia, a collection of letters, literary essays, and interviews. Her fiction has been translated into over forty languages and been shortlisted for the MAN Booker International Prize. In 2016 she was named one of TIME’s most influential people of the year and the New York Times has described her as “one of the great novelists of our time.” Ferrante was born in Naples.

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
3,415 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

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Top reviews from other countries

Cornwallgurl
4.0 out of 5 stars Onwards, but not necessarily upwards, in the lives of the tangled two
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 28, 2016
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Sheila
4.0 out of 5 stars The Story of a New Name
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 9, 2018
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MissB
5.0 out of 5 stars This is love. I've never read books so quickly with such ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 7, 2016
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DomDom
5.0 out of 5 stars Story of a fascinating friendship
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 10, 2019
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C. Caughey
2.0 out of 5 stars The Author Is NOT Italian!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2021
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