The Story of the Lost Child (Neapolitan Novels Series #4) by Elena Ferrante
Soon to be an HBO series, book four in the New York Times bestselling Neapolitan quartet about two friends in post-war Italy is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted epic by one of today's most beloved and acclaimed writers, Elena Ferrante, “one of the great novelists of our time.” (Roxana Robinson, The New York Times )
Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery uncontainable Lila. In this book, life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship, examined in its every detail over the course of four books, remains the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. But now, she has returned to Naples to be with the man she has always loved. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from Naples. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Yet somehow this proximity to a world she has always rejected only brings her role as unacknowledged leader of that world into relief.
Ferrante is one of the world’s great storytellers. With the Neapolitan quartet she has given her readers an abundant, generous, and masterfully plotted page-turner that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight readers for many generations to come.
Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of The Days of Abandonment (Europa, 2005), Troubling Love (Europa, 2007), and The Lost Daughter (Europa, 2009). Her Neapolitan novels include My Brilliant Friend , The Story of a New Name , Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay , and the fourth and final book in the series, The Story of the Lost Child.
Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker. Her translations for Europa Editions include novels by Amara Lakhous, Alessandro Piperno, and Elena Ferrante's bestselling My Brilliant Friend. She lives in New York.
The Story of the Lost Child 4.5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I read all four books consecutively and I will miss them ~ she created an entire world and I have great love and affection for the narrator. Highly recommended
More than 1 year ago
The story of the lost Child by Elena Ferrante (pseudonym) - Book Four of the Neapolitan Novels. Translated from the Italian to English by Ann Goldstein
This is the conclusion of the story started six decades early. It's the story of Elena Greco and Rafaella Cerullo (Lina). Their friendship over time and it concerns to the Neapolitan history.
It opens in 1975, just after Elena abandons her husband, Pietro, for Nino Sarratore. This causes a lot of strain in the lives of her daughters, Dede and Elsa. With Nino, she conceives another daughter, Imma. Lina decides to have a child with Enzo, with whom she has lived for a long time. Tina and Imma are born within weeks and they become good friends. Lina and Enzo run a successful computer company and they are wealthy.
However, one day Tina ( it was September 16, 1984 and Tina is four years old) disappears (thus the "Lost Child") and things go south for both women. Nino leaves Elena. Enzo and Lina break up. Elsa, Elena's daughter, runs away with Rino, Lina's son. It is in this act that the Elena Greco's lifestyle becomes relevant. She was unfaithful to her husband, she had an out of wedlock daughter - so it's not surprising that her daughter follows the same path.
This book's prose is much better than the first three books. Still narrated from the first person point of view - this last book feels more real. No need for anyone else's perspective. It's clear that Elena is a self-centered woman and can only care for herself. At points, she prefers the company of her lovers over the duties of motherhood. Other times, she prefers to write to the extreme of neglecting her children. For the first time, I understand why she has insisted on writing from the first person point of view - Elena does not care about anyone other than herself.
Through the story, Naples comes alive. Ther's a vivid description on the earthquake that ravaged Naples on November 23. 1980. There is a clear description of the trouble with government corruption, drug addiction, and crime. At the end, Elena confesses that even though she has written on Naples and about Naples, she has no clue as to what Naples is. She uses Lina to give meaning to Naples' history as Elena imagines a book that Lina is writing on the subject.
The book ends in 2002 just like it started in book one - with Lina disappearance and her unknown whereabouts.
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
This is the last book in the series and it will leave you breathless, your heart broken. Be prepared to cry. I loved these books. They are like nothing I have read before.
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