Elena Ferrante tells the story of two young girls, friends from the same neighborhood in the outskirts of Naples, Italy, during the 1950’s. It is a time of breaking free – escape from the bonds of their sex, from the bonds of their families, and from a culture that would hold them back from a modern world.
The premise of My Brilliant Friend is a good one, and Ferrante presents a narrative that is rich in story. Unfortunately, it lacked many other things. The characters were flat, and needed further development. Despite an obvious setting for fascinating imagery, Ferrante’s words were devoid of description – there was simply no sense of place. As a result, reading this book became a chore for me, rather than a pleasure. I simply did not like Ferrante’s literary style.
2 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2012
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