Oh, if only Elena Ferrante’s books were written by somebody else. Not My Brilliant Friend and its companions, but the rest. She always writes about herself and she is truly the most boring person, with – for me – the least interesting problems, about whom I have ever read so many words. She gets away with it in the series because Lena is extraordinary, and because they are surrounded by people who are interesting. But in both this and The Days of Abandonment it becomes frustrating. The more so because she captures how I perceive the Italy she lives in should be and her portrayal of others around her is terrific. Why does she have to make herself the centre all the time? It does her work no favours.
I have an idea I am stuck in some vortext [I made that up] where one is tossed about between these two things, the good and the bad; and I have an idea that I’m going to keep tormenting myself with more of it. I was so relieved to get to the end of this one, so it’s doubly irritating to think I will be drawn to do it again…..