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Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay (Neapolitan Novels Book 3) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
''Ferrante continues to imbue this growing saga with great magic, treating the girls' years of marriage and motherhood with breathtaking honesty while envisaging the turbulence of political and social unrest in 1970s Italy. Though originally planned as a trilogy, the story doesn't finish here, as this book ends with a hook that will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next installment.'' --Booklist (starred review)
''Ferrante writes with the kind of power saved for weather systems with female names, sparing no one, and Those Who Stay is a tour de force. I don't want to read anything else.'' --Jennifer Gilmore, New York Times bestselling author
''Surpass[es] the rapturous storytelling of the previous titles in the Neapolitan Novels.'' --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
''Ferrante has authored a 'Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman' that captures not only the forging of a self but the salvaging of it.'' --Vogue, praise for the series --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B079MHDBZ2
- Publisher : Europa Editions (September 2, 2014)
- Publication date : September 2, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 2982 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 437 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #25,539 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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While to me this is the best of the series, I don't think one can appreciate it without having read the first two--which is not a hardship. Fortunately each book provides an annotated cast of characters, including (thank God!) nicknames, family relationships, and--if you've read the preceding books--brief reminders of what has gone on before, reminders that will only be cryptic to those who haven't immersed themselves in what came before. After I finish book four I will probably go back and read the first one, "My Brilliant Friend," again, to give me the benefit of both hindsight and foresight.
I think the only things that held me at all at bay here at all was that the political concerns that presented themselves since the start became a little less talk and more action. Lila turns a sausage factory on its ear, bringing in students who fight for the workers, and Elena finds success as a writer. I still loved where the book went by the end, but somehow I felt that I’d been so compelled by these friends’ interior lives that I needed no historical moves and was fine with such events being relegated to the background.
But, like I said, I am without doubt going into book four...after a break. Ferrante’s emotional immediacy is something I usually need a bit of a break from before resuming.
Top reviews from other countries
Lila's story - living (platonically) with Enzo and her son Gennaro, working in the degrading environment of the local sausage factory is told in a lengthy flashback during a visit by Elena. As is typical, the nature of their relationship is fraught with ambiguity: Elena veers from trying to understand Lila, despite the latter's self-absorption and unkindness, to wishing she were dead, despite their shared history and background. This uncertainty needs to be expertly wrought lest the reader starts to lose interest in friends' quarrels which don't concern them: Ferrante's gift is to bring these to life in a way that has you thinking about the characters even when you don't have the book in your hands.
Part of this fascination comes from the way Elena thinks - for example, while observing her daughter and her friend pretending to be a mother and father, she says:
"The new living flesh was replicating the old in a game, we were a chain of shadows who had always been on the stage with the same burden of love, hatred, desire and violence." [p291]
There's plenty of all those emotions on parade in this book, but - as Lila notes elsewhere, "the disgusting face of things alone [isn't] enough for writing a novel: without imagination it would seem not a true face but a mask" [p274].
Finally - as a backdrop to the feelings, relationships, families and politics, there's the sense of place, which is brought into focus every now and again - e.g. "The sea was of lead and the gulf clasped it like the rim of a crucible. A dense churning mass of black cloud was rolling towards us. But in the distance, between sea and clouds, there was a long gash that collided with the violet shadow of Vesuvius, a wound from which a dazzling whiteness dripped. We stood looking at it for a long time, our clothes pasted to us by the wind." [p204].
Wonderful writing. I'm looking forward to the final installment.
When Elena revisits the old neighbourhood, there are some changes and new riches, but the stifling influence continues to feel like an entrapment.
Lila's fortunes change, and Elena becomes increasingly consumed by passion, both have a sense of risk and danger about them. The tension between hostility and tenderness between the friends is quite unique to this series of novels.
Lenu’s inner dialogue and turmoil has such an authentic voice, I can hear it as I read.
Don’t want this series to end so it is with some sadness I approach the 4th and final novel.
I share a close friendship with two girls myself for over two decades and they are each so very magical. Not many people can enter our worlds but these girls in the books and Elena Ferrante really have. Best story telling.