Thursday, October 8, 2020

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This followup to My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante held up in book two of the four-part series, even if it felt more disturbing with the growing realization of the situation Lila was in and her continued destructive tendencies, and how Lenu's life and decisions were still as affected by her friend as the tides are by the moon.

A friend of mine who shares much of my taste in books loved book one and wasn't as happy with The Story of a New Name. I feared I'd feel the same thanks to our similar reading habits, but I picked it up anyway to happy results. The difference for me may have been that I read it after having watched season 2 of the HBO show based on this series, so I knew about many of the jarring developments.

Reading the book fleshed out the motive for some aspects of the storyline in a way the series hadn't. My friend had read the book before the series came out. I have no idea if it would've changed her opinion, but I think possibly it eased me over some plot lines I might have found rougher if I hadn't seen them already. The TV series was so well-done that maybe it made some rough storylines easier to swallow as well? I'm not really sure if any of it made a difference, I just know I went into it a wee bit leery of whether I'd like it, and I really did.

Fans of the first book, do yourself a favor and pick up this one, too. And if you can, check out My Brilliant Friend on HBO.

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