My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend

Book One, Childhood, Adolescence

eBook - 2012
Average Rating:
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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
Characteristics: 1 online resource (331 p.)
Additional Contributors: Goldstein, Ann 1949-

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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.

s
singidunum_25
Jul 29, 2016

There are many qualities about this particular book, but being fast read is not one of them. I wasn't moved by characters or the story even though they were developed nicely as well as time period. It feels like one very long narration, retelling of events from the third person point of view. Expressed emotions and translation were not even close to Ellena Ferrante's The days of Abandonment. Maybe I just expected too much so book didn't live up to it's hype....Would I dive into the second book right away? No, but at some point I will come back....

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.

Chapel_Hill_SusanM May 19, 2016

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)

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.

manoush Apr 21, 2015

An extremely engaging, completely absorbing novel set in a poor neighborhood in Naples during the 1950s. The narrator is middle-aged intellectual Elena, looking back on her early life in the neighborhood and the beginning of her intense friendship with Lila, a fiercely bright, fearless girl who transforms from a scrawny ugly duckling into a coveted swan by the time she's sixteen. Ferrante's prose is as unshowy and clear as a window pane, depicting the bonding and rivalry between the two gifted girls. An ominous sense of tension lingers on every page, so skillfully does Ferrante capture the texture of life in the neighborhood with its strict class hierarchies and the constant threat of male violence. Some scenes are cinematic in their vividness. Most powerful is the girls' sense of entrapment by the neighborhood's cramped realities. Both Elena and Lila chafe at the daily regimen of control they're subjected to. The poignancy of this first volume is how the girls try to carve some autonomy for their budding selves from their toxic surroundings.

athompson10 Mar 26, 2015

Well written and engrossing story of two girls and their Naples families and neighborhood.

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