My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend

Book One, Childhood, Adolescence

eBook - 2012
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Beginning in the 1950s Elena and Lila grow up in Naples, Italy, mirroring two different aspects of their nation.
Publisher: New York : Europa Editions, 2012
ISBN: 9781609458638
160945863X
Call Number: EBOOK AXIS 360
Characteristics: 1 online resource (331 p.)
Additional Contributors: Goldstein, Ann 1949-
Alternative Title: Childhood, adolescence

Opinion

From Library Staff

The world of Elena and Lila, Neapolitan girls growing up after the Second World War, is small, casually violent, and confined to their poor neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and the few prosperous families dominate.

The world of Elena and Lila, Neapolitan girls growing up after the Second World War, is small, casually violent, and confined to their poor neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and the few prosperous families dominate.

The world of Elena and Lila, Neapolitan girls growing up after the Second World War, is small, casually violent, and confined to their poor neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and the few prosperous families dominate.

The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else.


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s
SunsetBranch
Mar 04, 2019

The best of the series; the rest got a little too soap-operaish. The last book is harrowing

s
spudwil
Aug 10, 2018

I’ve given up trying to finish this book. I had high expectations due to all the positive reviews but I get so confused with all the characters that I’m never entirely sure who’s who. Usually I love the book club selections but not this time.

c
colleenmmm
Aug 12, 2016

Took me into a world I am not familiar with, which I like. Complex characters. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

f
FVReader
Jul 09, 2016

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked the complex nature of Elena and Lila's relationship, even if I didn't understand the attraction at times. Friendship is complicated.
The community surrounding these two friends is lively and volatile. The European feel of a community comes through with the gossip, the leaning out the windows, the knowing of everyone's business. It was delightful and entertaining.
From the first pages, one knows that one has to be invested in the entire series to go the full circle that the first chapter reveals. This book takes us up to when the girls are 16.

Believe the hype, y'all. Ferrante captures a world so vividly and effortlessly that 1950s Naples feels familiar, no matter where you grew up. This is largely because of her deep understanding of childhood friendship, of feelings that fluctuate from minute to minute yet, at their core, stay forever unchanged. Plus, the last sentence. (And don't read ahead - it won't mean anything unless you've read the whole book.)

s
singasong70
Feb 06, 2016

I, too, am finding it a difficult read. Rambles at times, brings the word "flight of ideas" strongly to mind; not sure where she's headed at any point, same place she seemed to be heading or shot off in an entirely different direction? Lost my place more than once as to time frame involved; in other words; I don't get it! (Yet)

m
marieszep
Jan 03, 2016

I love this down-to-earth story!

Chapel_Hill_ShannonB Dec 15, 2015

A novel deserving of the recent hype. An exceptional book about life and friendship, set in the slums of 1950s Naples, where families have lived for generations and rarely leave the confines of the neighborhood. This is a rich, absorbing, and satisfying read that effortlessly captures a particular time and place. The focus of the novel is two young girls and their relationship, though Ferrante includes a wide cast of interesting characters. While this world is populated with children, and adults, that can often be self-centered, petty, and resentful, you don’t lose feeling for them or want to disengage yourself. Perhaps I was most impressed with this range of honest emotional expression in the younger characters, something I have not often encountered in books about children. Ferrante has me hooked and I can’t wait to read the next three books in the series.

a
anfieldfan
Sep 10, 2015

I must be missing something as I could not get into this book at all and I know all the reviews have been excellent. I may try it again sometime.

madison382 Aug 13, 2015

Really enjoyed this book, can't wait to start the second in the series.

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I feel no nostalgia for our childhood: it was full of violence. Every sort of thing happened, at home and outside, every day, but I don t recall having ever thought that the life we had there was particularly bad. Life was like that, that’s all, we grew up with the duty to make it difficult for others before they made it difficult for us. Of course, I would have liked the nice manners that the teacher and the priest preached, but I felt that those ways were not suited to our neighborhood, even if you were a girl. The women fought among themselves more than the men, they pulled each other’s hair, they hurt each other. To cause pain was a disease.

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