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Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay: The Neapolitan Novels, Book Three by [Ferrante, Elena]
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Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay: The Neapolitan Novels, Book Three Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product Description

Since the publication of the acclaimed My Brilliant Friend and The Story of A New Name, Elena Ferrante’s reputation has grown enormously. Her novels about the friendship between Lila and Elena, about the mysteries of human relationships, are utterly compelling.

In Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the two protagonists are now in their thirties. 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.

Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. She is the author of seven novels: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, The Lost Daughter, and the quartet of Neapolitan Novels: My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child. Fragments, a selection of interviews, letters and occasional writings by Ferrante, will be published in early 2016. She is one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors.

Ann Goldstein is an editor at the New Yorker and a recipient of the PEN Renato Poggioli Translation Award.

‘[Ferrante’s] charting of the rivalries and sheer inscrutability of female friendship is raw. This is high stakes, subversive literature.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘In the past decade, no fiction writer has made it more necessary to think about the performative aspect of being a woman than Elena Ferrante. Her novels, written originally in Italian and translated beautifully by Ann Goldstein, are ferociously engaged with the ways in which a woman—as a daughter, a teenager, a lover, and, most dramatically, a mother—is a kind of person in drag, speaking through a costume that slowly becomes all that one knows of her…It’s Ferrante’s ability to capture both the mirror and the woman standing before it that makes her a writer to be reckoned with.’ John Freeman

‘Nothing you read about Elena Ferrante’s work prepares you for the ferocity of it…This is a woman’s story told with such truthfulness that it is not so much a life observed as it is felt.’ New York Times

‘Elena Ferrante is one of the great novelists of our time…In these bold, gorgeous, relentless novels, Ferrante traces the deep connections between the political and the domestic. This is a new version of the way we live now—one we need, one told brilliantly, by a woman.’ New York Times Sunday Book Review

‘When I read [the Neapolitan novels] I find that I never want to stop. I feel vexed by the obstacles—my job, or acquaintances on the subway—that threaten to keep me apart from the books. I mourn separations (a year until the next one—how?). I am propelled by a ravenous will to keep going.’ New Yorker

‘It is a testament to Ferrante’s achievement that, at the end of this third book and anticipating the fourth, it seems there’s limitless potential for Lina to reinvent herself again.’ Times Literary Supplement

‘Ferrante’s project is bold: her books chronicle the inner conflicts of intelligent women…Her writing has a powerful intimacy…a bona fide literary sensation–the famous writer nobody knows.’ Guardian UK

‘The best thing I’ve read this year, far and away…She’s marvellous.’ Richard Flanagan

'The Neapolitan novels are smart, thoughtful, serious literature. At the same time, they are violent, suspenseful soap operas populated with a vivid cast of scheming characters...Ferrante’s novels are deeply personal and intimate, getting to the very heart of what it means to be a woman, a friend, a daughter, a mother.’ Debrief Daily


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1927 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Text Publishing (8 September 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LZ1U6HA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,344 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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A very good story but did get a little lost and complicated however a most enjoyable read particularly if you know Naples
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You know you're enjoying a read when you get through two volumes, each of 400+ pages, in four days!
This continuation of the story of the two friends, Lila and Elena, takes us through the late 60s and early 70s, against a world of protests and militancy. Having left her husband, Lila now lives - platonically- with old friend Enzo. While she labours in a gruesome salami factory, Enzo also works and studies computers into the night... Elena has enjoyed celebrity with her first book and is engaged to be married....

These books work because the characters are so believable, their uncertainties, difficult relationships, jealousies make them totally 3 dimensional and real. The friendship between the two women is complex: on the one hand she goes to great effort to help Lila when she falls ill (or is she just glorifying in her new-found wealth and power?); on the other, she withholds things from her, and even wishes her dead.

This volume ends on a cliffhanger...needless to say I've ordered the final volume!
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Try as I might, and believe me I have, I just cannot get into this series of novels as much as it seems I should. The accolades, the five star reviews, the almost overwhelming frenzy that readers have towards Elena and Lila – all tell me that I must be missing something. I agree, unreservedly, that the writing is sublime, and of the three books that I have read so far, this latest one is a knock out. The author captures the love-hate nature of female friendship so achingly beautiful; the different routes women in post war Italy take to escape their destinies at birth of being wives, mothers, punching bags, without voices or means; the polarising politics of communism and fascism – all of it excellent. But I think it is because I don’t actually like any of the characters that I have such trouble in liking these novels. I expect I am supposed to like Elena and Lila – after all they both seem to be doing their best to improve their lives, they are intelligent, arouse sympathy, strong and feisty. A lot happens to each of the women in this third book, covering the years of their late twenties/early thirties. Elena is now a successful author, married to Pietro and mother to two girls. She is continually conflicted in her role as mother/wife versus her ongoing desire to be a successful writer. Lila, on the other hand, continues to live with Enzo and works in the salami factory until her protests at the factory’s appalling working conditions leads to a major change in direction for her, Enzo and her son. A lot happens in this novel, probably the most action packed of the three books and for me, it is the best of the three. But such heavy going, slow moving story telling makes me feel like I am wading through heavy muddy waters.
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Have just finished the 3 novels in this series. Couldn't put them down. A gripping story....really gets you into the psyche of each main character. Can't wait for book 4. My only crit is the names of characters, eg Nino and Nina and others where sometimes they are referred to as their original name ...then they are called by their abbreviated pet name.....they become confusing at times..!! Because of the complex relationships I often had to refer to the Index of Characters at the beginning which I felt helpful but at times frustrating..!! I've never read a series of books before but was totally absorbed by this story. Can't wait now to get into number four.
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Another deeply challenging novel from such an accomplished writer. These stories capture the messiness of real life but allow an in depth analysis from a socio-political perspective of the times. Such turbulence affects all aspects of life and the story of the friendship between the 2 women continues to be the vehicle to explore their lives and the changes in the cities and countries of their time.
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Having read all four books in the Neapolitan Series, I am going to apply this review to all of them. Such excellent writing and the content so confronting and informative, I couldn't wait to continue reading. Life in Naples during more difficult times and changing times, portrayed in such a unique style. I loved these books.
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Excellent series. On book four now and will be sad when finished. Felt myself completely immersed in Napolean life. The relationships between the main characters are intriguing and complex but felt I could draw parallels to female relationships I had in younger life.
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I loved this story of intertwined lives full of the irrationality yet perfect sense of love and politics. I can't wait to read the final novel in the series,.
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