My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante is recommended by Susan who is a member of the Bury Library Readers’ Group.
This novel 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.
“The first of a series of four books about two friends from the slums of Naples, this first volume follows the girls growing up in the 1950s and 60s, ending when they are 16. It is a strikingly in-depth look at the characters and their surroundings, both the impoverished district where they live and the wider society of which they are only vaguely aware. The poverty is not only financial, but intellectual – nurturing, morality and warmth are in short supply, making the girls’ close friendship all the more remarkable.
The book ends at the wedding of the ‘brilliant’ friend, with a tremendous cliff-hanger. To avoid sleepless nights, I’d advise having Volume 2 to hand as you get to the end!
This is a book that is mostly loved, but hated by some. In my view, whichever side you are on, that makes it an interesting read.” Susan.