Elena Ferrante’s characters move through the natural world, but the natural world moves through them, too.

In My Brilliant Friend, the Neapolitan novelist writes about violence, poverty and friendship in 1950s Naples in language that crackles with bluntness, terror, and beauty.

Centered around the relationship between two girls—Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo—the novel invokes visceral reactions that you’ll experience almost as strongly as the characters do. You’ll cringe at Elena’s neuroses, but only because her mind is full of the same tricks and traps you might wade through daily.

As the first of the four Neapolitan Novels, My Brilliant Friend is the ideal place to meet Elena and Lila. Start now and you’ll have plenty of time before the final book in the series, The Story of the Lost Child, is released in September.

Fun fact: Elena Ferrante is a pseudonym. For whom? It’s a secret. (As it should be.) “I believe that books, once they are written, have no need of their authors,” she explained (anonymously) in a letter to her publisher.

Get it girl…whoever you are.


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