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Publisher's Summary

The incredible story continues in book 3 of the critically acclaimed Neapolitan novels!
In this third Neapolitan novel, Elena and Lila, the two girls whom were first introduced in My Brilliant Friend, have become women. Lila married at sixteen and has a young son; she has left her husband and the comforts her marriage brought and now works as a common laborer. Elena has left the neighborhood, earned her college degree, and published a successful novel, all of which has opened the doors to a world of learned interlocutors and richly furnished salons. Both women are pushing against the walls of a prison that would have seen them living a life of misery, ignorance, and submission. They are afloat on the great sea of opportunities that opened up during the 1970s. Yet they are still very much bound to each other by a strong, unbreakable bond.
©2015 Elena Ferrante (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Lori on 12-17-15

It's finally picking up a bit in book 3

This is the 3rd in the 4 book series and so far, this is my favorite one (though I'm still not as enamored as most of the reviewers here). It gives more insight into Lila and why everyone thinks she's so fabulous. It also gives a glimpse into the feminist movement in the 70s in Italy- the thoughts and actions of women breaking ground for the future freedoms of female sexuality, and men's reactions having to come to terms with strong women. We still find Elena insecure and envious and Lila is still mean, so I wonder how they stayed friends throughout the years. I guess because it takes place before the "get rid of the toxic people in your life" mantra. Again, Ferrante has a way of writing that gives the characters authenticity and the scenes a reality and feel I don't get from most books. Not that it's over the top description; that's not it at all. But it's one of those books that imprints itself somehow, even though, or perhaps because the stories of these lives hit very close to home. As for the narrator, I don't know that I'll ever be able to listen to this narrator again. It's too slow and lacking feeling, though it is starting to seem to fit the character of the books. I listen on 1.5 so as not to go crazy or fall into a stupor.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Paula on 11-10-15

Decent novel ruined by narration

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

All my friends who read the books have devoured them. But I found that listening to Huber's dispassionate narration ruined much of the atmosphere. Her voice is overly refined and lacks nuance--- these are passionate hardscrabble Neapolitans, telling a story of friendship, political turmoil, betrayal-- and the narrator sounds as if she could be reading Peter Rabbit.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Change the narrator

What didn’t you like about Hillary Huber’s performance?

See above. She is too cultured, too even a voice for the turmoil of the novel.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jenny on 01-05-16

An Amazing Quartet

I love these books. I came to them reluctantly, hating to follow the crowd, but I would, and frequently do, wholeheartedly recommend them to friends. The writing is wonderful without being self-conscious.

These are truly wonderful books. Weeks after reading them I am still in that Neapolitan neighbourhood, surrounded by squalor and violence to witness the palpable yearning of two little girls whose ambitions could not be contained within its boundaries.

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 06-04-17


Brilliant book ruined by poor narration. What a shame. I will not be passing this audio book on.

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