My Brilliant Friend is the first book in the Neapolitan Novels of Elena Ferrante’s quartet written in 2011. The book, which became a publishing success after it was translated into English, was so popular that it was impossible to miss it. So I decided to ditch it, as I did with most popular books. Years later, I thought it was time to give it a go. I’m so glad I read it without all the hype. Ferrante is an exquisite author, and she deserves all the attention she gets.
My Brilliant Friend starts with the friendship of two girls living in a poor neighbourhood in Italy. On the one hand, the book masterfully shows the daily life in Naples, Italy and on the other hand, it talks about the friendship, jealousy, life pursuits and hopes of these two girls. Lenu and Lila survive with the power they give each other in their poor neighbourhood and try to add meaning to their male-dominated worlds.
Ferrante is a great storyteller, and her characters are genuine and very relatable. You’ll not be able to stop reading this book. I will read the other books in the series soon. According to those who have finished the series, this first book is not even good as the others. Considering how much I like this book, I’ll probably fall in love with others.
Other books in the Neapolitan Novels:
- The Story of a New Name – Elena Ferrante
- Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay – Elena Ferrante
- Story of the Lost Child – Elene Ferrante
My Brilliant Friend
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.
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 among her best-known works. Time magazine called Ferrante one of the 100 most so influential people in 2016.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: