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My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

Posted: Sunday, July 10, 2016

This was an interesting journey following the childhood-through-teen years of the exceptionally bright Lena and Lila who live in a poor, tough village in Naples in the 1950s-60s.  Theirs’ was a complex, competitive, loyal relationship, set against the backdrop of poverty, ignorance, and violence.   This fairly straightforward narrative was marred by the intrusion of a boatload of undeveloped characters with far too many names, and worse, nicknames!   Mercifully, the author thought to create an index to the characters at the front of the book.  Unfortunately, I had to refer to it constantly.  This book is intense, raw, angry and well-written and I’m glad I read it.  That said, I don’t think I’ll delve into the rest of the series unless someone talks me into it. 

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