The Neapolitan Novels: Book II
The first installment of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels moved me deeply and there was no doubt I’d continue with the series. For various reasons this week has been challenging and so yesterday afternoon, on a whim, I bought the second book and have spent a few hours here and there absorbed afresh in Ferrante’s compelling world, by turns painfully familiar and shockingly alien. As in the first novel, the characters have a presence and reality which means one can’t comfortably dismiss them as fictional. Once again, this book has the charge of thinly fictionalised autobiography: nostalgic, fearless and merciless, a forensic dissection of the anatomy of friendship.