Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay is Ferrante’s third book of the Neapolitan Novels. Unlike the first two books, I read this book with anger and frustration. I was mad at Ferrante because I thought the characters lost their realities in places. Still, I read it without taking long breaks.
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay made me angry and upset. I got mad because nobody seems to care about morals. From educated to ignorant, from rich to poor, everyone is immoral! Heaven knows why every man falls in love with Lila, every one of them. In other words, Ferrante thinks that all the men in the world will fall in love with Lila, and that is totally normal. So the characters became two-dimensional for me immediately. Although this distanced me from the book, it was refreshing to read about the class struggle and political tension in Italy. I found myself cursing at fascists in the blind of the night.
At the end of the book, the author did everything she could to urge the readers to read the next book, and frankly, she succeeded. I am curious about Lenu’s new life. On the other hand, I hope no more men will fall in love with Lila because it will ruin the whole series for me.
Other books in the Neapolitan Novels:
- My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante
- The Story of a New Name – Elena Ferrante
- Story of the Lost Child – Elene Ferrante
Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay
Set in the late 1960s and the 1970s, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay continues the story of the feisty and rebellious Lina and her lifelong friend, the brilliant and bookish Elena. Lina, after separating from her husband, is living with her young son in a new neighborhood of Naples and working at a local factory. Elena has left Naples, earned a degree from an elite college, and published a novel, all of which has opened the doors to a world of learned and fascinating interlocutors. The era, with its dramatic changes in sexual politics and social costumes, with its seemingly limitless number of new possibilities, is rendered with breathtaking vigor. This third Neapolitan Novel is not only a moving story of friendship but also a searing portrait of a rapidly changing world.
Since the publication of My Brilliant Friend, the first of the Neapolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante’s fame as one of today’s most compelling, insightful, and stylish authors has grown. She has gained admirers among authors, artists, and critics. But her most resounding success has undoubtedly been with readers, who have discovered in Ferrante a writer who speaks with great power and beauty of the mysteries of belonging, human relationships, love, family, and friendship.
Elena Ferrante is a pseudonymous Italian novelist. Ferrante’s books, originally published in Italian, so 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: