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The Lying Life of Adults Reviews

4.20 out of 5

3 reviews

Publication date: 17 Nov 2019
ISBN: 9781609455910

A powerful novel set in a divided Naples by Elena Ferrante, the beloved best-selling author of My Brilliant Friend.

5 stars out of 5
Alice O'Keeffe
5 Jun 2020

"An exhilaratingly honest coming-of-age tale "

Ferrante charts Giovanna's passage from obliging girlhood to teenage rebellion as she rejects her parents' values in the search for her own identity. An exhilaratingly honest coming-of-age tale alive to the mercurial passions of adolescence. Moves from June.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
Lucy Hughes-Hallett
23 Nov 2019

"Ferrante’s fans may be surprised by this book – by its narrow focus and its stringent tone – but they are likely to fall again under her spell."

This is the first of Ferrante’s novels I have read in the original Italian (Goldstein’s English version will be published next June). Ferrante’s own voice feels exactly like the one I already know. The rhythms of her prose are just as Goldstein reproduces them. It’s not just that her narrative strategies are familiar – the thrilling shock when a storyline swings on a trivial detail; the tremendously suggestive lacunae. The intricate sentences full of subtle shifts of tone; the brusque, forceful dialogue – all are here. So, too, is the compelling storytelling. Ferrante’s fans may be surprised by this book – by its narrow focus and its stringent tone – but they are likely to fall again under her spell.

4 stars out of 5
16 Nov 2019

"After a five-year absence the mysterious Italian writer is back, pulling us inside the mind of a teenage girl in Naples"

Giovanna’s growing resilience and her discovery of one man she can put on a pedestal carries the book as it picks up speed with a flurry of denouements right to the last page. This book gives the world a new Naples heroine and a hint that another quartet of novels might be in the works, as well as showing that five years on Elena Ferrante can still deliver.