Five Things About... My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

I have resisted this book for years, for several reasons. First, the Europa cover is trash (although I love this publisher’s paperback jacket style), second, the synopsis didn’t really hook me, and third, it’s a series, which can often be a red flag. I was intrigued by the Ferrante memoir coming out soon, though, so I figured I should at least give this a try, and I’m so glad I did. 

The last week was busy, so I was thankful that this book’s chapter are generally just a few pages. It makes it so easy to just read a few pages here and there!

I loved the story of the narrator and her hot-and-cold best friend Lila. Isn’t that so true of many childhood friendships? One year your inseparable, then the next distant. 

The Bildungsroman genre is often saturated with the male experience, so it’s nice to see one focus on a female. Elena grows from a tiny kindergartner to a teen through these pages and we see her battle with puberty, academics, boys, and family.

I love Italy and have been to Rome, Florence, and Venice, but now I need to go back so I can go to Naples! Ferrante’s setting construction is flawless and I loved feeling so enveloped in the culture every time I sat down to read.

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