Thursday, February 24, 2022

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There's a grim darkness to Elena Ferrante's work that's as compelling as it is quietly brutal. And she writes it so well.

Ferrante's riveting exploration of a complex and consuming friendship between two women throughout their lives fascinates me throughout this series (Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay is third out of four books). 

I even managed to enjoy it despite all the talk of politics and upheaval in Italy of the 1960s and '70s, about which I know nothing and wasn't dying to find out. My husband is a politics professor, and on our first date when he told me what he taught, I groaned, "Ugh, I hate politics!" And immediately realized I may have put my big foot directly in my big mouth. But he burst out laughing, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Anyone that can roll with and get my sometimes ill-advised speaking of my mind is alright with me. 

As it turned out, far from boring me to death, the political aspect added to the intricate portrait of these women and the times they lived in. Of course, that picture would be in sharper relief if I knew more about the turmoil and history of Italy at that time. It made me want to learn more about it, which I plan to do (probably just the Wiki version, and a discussion with my husband so I can put his hard-earned degrees to work for me!).

But I'll admit, I wouldn't have minded a little less political talk. However, there was so much more here than political conflict. Elena's and Lila's lives, loves, jealousies, motivations, passions, mistakes, fears and courage all shine through and tightly draw you in. It's a wonderful book.

If you love talking about books, please follow or friend me on Goodreads. Let's be book buddies!

No comments:

Post a Comment