Top positive review
Most of us Have Been There....Ferrante Captures Her "Days of Abandonment"
Reviewed in the United States on August 17, 2017
I had been warned by some reviews and by friends that had read "The Days of Abandonment" to realize that it may be hard to read and a little weird. I had just finished lounging in the pure ecstasy that only prolific readers know, of reading Ferrante's "The Neapolitan Series". Basking in the afterglow of that intense literary experience I immediately downloaded "Frantamaglia: A Writer's Journey" which is Ferrante's musings on writing her amazing books. It quickly became apparent that I would not be able to enjoy the full impact of the journal without reading "The Days of Abandonment".
I should have known that Elena Ferrante is not capable of letting her readers down. I languished on every sentence of 32 year old Olga, attempting to navigate the first month of being suddenly abandoned by her beloved husband, Mario and their two children for a younger woman. Olga quickly finds herself behaving irrationally. The worst thing possible has occurred as far as she is concerned and she has no choice but to continue with the mundane duties of everyday life....caring for her children, managing everything in her home and trying to regain her sense of femininity and autonomy after being nothing but Mario's wife and loving mother to his children after 15 years. She loses it. Completely. Her life becomes literally a stream of consciousness. She is just not writing in this style....this is the way her life is unfolding. I have never experienced a writer put this kind of feeling down in words so very powerful and succinctly. Yes, it is weird. Because she is feeling exceedingly weird and the reader soaks up every bit of it. I have experienced this state of mind when I was very young and have often wondered how to verbalize it, let alone put words to describe it down on paper. The house, the children, the grocery shopping, the laundry, and every other ordinary life event become distorted and that is the way Olga tells us what she is experiencing. Before reading this book I would have told you that it was impossible to express these feelings the way that Ferrante manages to do. She does it and it is absolutely mesmerizing.
If you are a Elena Ferrante fan, you cannot miss the "The Days of Abandonment". If you are new to this author, start with the Neapolitan series. You will get to know the author first and understand her extraordinary writing skills before you begin. This book takes you on Olga's emotional journey. It will become real to you, not just a literary experience. This author has captured a feeling, a mania, a phenomena, that before reading this book I would have thought that no one could do. This is painting with words. It is a rare, carefully written work, that deserves to be carefully read.