My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante


My last book of the winter reading session was a page turner! A neighbor and friend gave this to me during our last visit where we also exchanged seedlings. I remember saying to her, “It may be a while.” Well, it’s been ten days I think. Once I cracked this open, I made the goal of finishing it with our session this weekend.

The book is translated from Italian, which made the prose rich and unique– inviting and plentiful. The story of two friends and their paths throughout childhood and adolescence provide ample context for all kinds of story lines– school, education for women, summer away from home at the beach, envy, deceit, love and neighborhood violence. The emotional intensity of the novel is relatable and the characters give a sort of yin/yang ebb and flow to the novel as a whole.

I loved this book and am lucky that it is the first in a series of four. I am not sure when I’ll get to the second book, but will look forward to whenever it comes around.

If you are looking for a quick moving book, this is one to grab.

9 comments on “My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante”

  1. Kudos for finishing as planned, Borkali. I’m not going to make it on the book I’m currently reading, nor on the book I’m listening to, but I plan to post something about my in-progress experience of them before the weekend is over!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was completely captivated by My Brilliant Friend, which I read a few years ago. My No Nonsense Book group, sadly since then disbanded, had elected to read Ferrante’s four-volume work, The Neapolitan Novels. I did read all four, but found the first one the most captivating. Volume Three,Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, I found sagged and dragged a bit. Nonetheless, I’m glad to have experienced the entire series and a writer who reveals the depths and complexities of a lifelong relationship between two very different spirited women.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad to learn a bit about the other books; I rarely read series of things, so I’ll see how it goes 😉

      I really enjoyed the style of writing as well as the characters– a total win/win!


  3. I listened to this series over the course of a few months when I did a handful of road trips. I listened to the whole thing, though several times considered stopping. i think I am the only one in the known universe who did not really love them. If I hadn’t had all those trips to make, I suspect I would have given up on them. Can’t really say what bothered me about them – repetitive? people making the same mistakes again and again? I don’t know. Just didn’t really wow me. But, as I said, I listened to the entire series.


    1. Another fine remark– maybe I will stop at My Brilliant Friend – I am not sure. I agree with you on the potential for repetitiveness that it sounds like you observed in your listening– interesting.. thank you for your honesty. Very helpful…


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