Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay

Middle Time

Large Print - 2016
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Lila, married at sixteen, has left her husband and the comforts of her marriage, and has now joined the workforce. Elena has left the neighbourhood in Naples, been to university, and published a successful novel, all of which has brought her into a wealthier, more cultured world. Both women are seizing opportunities to flee a life of poverty, ignorance and submission. Yet they are still very much bound to each other by an unbreakable bond.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike Press,, 2016.
Edition: Large print edition.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781410491190
Characteristics: 639 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Goldstein, Ann 1949-,- Translator

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j
jr3083
Mar 14, 2018

This is a four-part story, released at one volume each year between 2012 and 2015. Set in a poverty-stricken section of Naples in the 1950s, it is the story of a friendship between two women, Elena and Lina.
At times I found myself wondering whether anything really happened in these books. Is the whole thing just a souped-up soap opera, I wondered? But occasionally, I'd just sit bank and think- Yep, this woman sure can write. There's a huge scope of time encompassed in these books. The plotting of the series of books is masterful, clearly planned in its entirety from the opening pages of Book 1 which tie in so neatly with the closing pages of Book 4. This isn't a saga with one book added after another once they began to sell well: no, it's a complete whole, conceived as a unity from the start. It was always a little difficult to start each volume after a break, but about half way through each one , she'd put her foot to the metal and it was unputdownable.

I have loved these books. They capture so well the ambiguities of a close friendship, and they mark the passing of time and the 20th century development of Naples, with the chains of past family enmities and the allure of modernity. I flipped through the advertisements for Ferrante's other books at the back of the volume. No, I don't want to read any more. They sound too much the same. This was just perfect, just as it is.

For my complete review, see https://residentjudge.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/the-neapolitan-quartet-by-elena-ferrante/

kslavik Apr 29, 2017

Addicting read! This is a fascinating psychological study of a cast of characters from a female perspective.

c
cathyingram
Mar 18, 2017

This series is one of my favorites...each one is brilliant. But this book was a mind-blower. There were several scenes in it that I will never forget.

The realistic portrayal of women's lifelong relationships with each other is revealing and brutal. A lot can be learned about the stalling or failures of feminism observing the relationships in these books.

2
22950008851644
Mar 13, 2017

This is not what I would call a friendship. It is a dysfunctional relationship - a rivalry of sorts - that does not help either woman in her life. Really didn't like these books. Though I read all four to see if they would redeem themselves in the end.
The most interesting part of the story was the portrayal of poverty in Naples in the 1950s. The relationships were really unhealthy and depressing.

e
empbee
Mar 12, 2017

A remarkable book about many aspects of friendship; an honest and deep look at friendship, the changes and influences during the years, including jealously, motherhood, sexual behavior, political beliefs and ignorance. Ann Goldstein's translation makes this book(s) truly enjoyable.

m
mdjamali
Oct 17, 2016

this trilogy had me hooked from beginning-to-end. The elements of childhood friendships made it that much more engaging for me.

l
lukasevansherman
Jul 13, 2016

"Each of us narrates our life as it suits us."
First a correction: this a series of 4 novels, not a trilogy. Elena Ferante's Neaplotian Novels are one of the great literary events of our time and the friendship of Lina and Elena is an incredibly vivid and nuanced portrait. The rare literary phenomenon that justifies the hype. Followed by "The Story of the Lost Child."

u
uncommonreader
Feb 26, 2016

We are now in the late 1960s and 1970s, a time of student revolt and clashes between the fascist ruling class and those trying to create a more equitable society. It is also the time of the rise of feminism as Lenu begins to think differently.

athompson10 May 11, 2015

Elena and Lina in womanhood. Much more interesting and involving than Story of a New Name.

w
wgsimmons
Oct 22, 2014

third in the trilogy

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vickiz
Mar 28, 2017

The day will come when I reduce myself to diagrams, I'll become a perforated tape and you won't find me anymore.

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