A novel in the bestselling quartet about two very different women and their complex friendship: “Everyone should read anything with Ferrante’s name on it” (The Boston Globe).
The follow-up to My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name continues the epic New York Times–bestselling literary quartet that has inspired an HBO series, and returns us to the world of Lila and Elena, who grew up together in post-WWII Naples, Italy.
In The Story of a New Name, Lila has recently married and made her entrée into the family business; Elena, meanwhile, continues her studies and her exploration of the world beyond the neighborhood that she so often finds stifling. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila, and the pressure to excel is at times too much for Elena. Yet the two young women share a complex and evolving bond that is central to their emotional lives and a source of strength in the face of life’s challenges. In these Neapolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante, “one of the great novelists of our time” (The New York Times), gives us a poignant and universal story about friendship and belonging, a meditation on love and jealousy, freedom and commitment—at once a masterfully plotted page-turner and an intense, generous-hearted family saga.
“Imagine if Jane Austen got angry and you’ll have some idea of how explosive these works are.” —The Australian
“Brilliant . . . captivating and insightful . . . the richness of her storytelling is likely to please fans of Sara Gruen and Silvia Avallone.” —Booklist (starred review)
The second in a trilogy, book two rejoins narrator Elena Greco and her "brilliant friend" Lina Cerullo as they leave behind their claustrophobic Italian girlhood and enter the tumultuous world of young womanhood with all its accompanying love, loss, and confusion. Against the backdrop of l960s/70s Naples, the previously inseparable girls embark on diverse paths. At 16, Lila has married the prosperous local grocer, Stefano Carraci, only to discover at their wedding reception that he has already betrayed her and damned their union. Conversely Elena has chosen education, a less traditional route to free her from the stultifying village life. Lina asks Elena to hide a box of notebooks from her husband. Instead, she dumps them in the river but not without first reading them. Ferrante masterfully combines Elena's recollections of events with Lila's point of view as documented in her notebooks to drive the narrative. The women's fraught relationship and shifting fortunes are the life forces of this poignant book.
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Omg. Just omg. I read this book on my iPad and would just highlight sentences on occasion that really resonated with me. This author is articulate in ways I have never read before. A lot of times what she says about a girls insecurity is so true. Although sad, it is comforting. Incredible writing.