Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante
What’s it about?
This is the third book in Elena Ferrante's Neopoloitan series and it continues telling the life of Elena Greco. In this book Elena marries and we see Lina continue to struggle with the lack of possibilities in her life.
What did it make me think about?
This book is as much about Italy, and the role of women in this country through the last fifty years, as it is about female friendships. Both are complicated subjects and Ferrante dissects them like a surgeon. She has such razor sharp insights and uses her plot and characters to tell you a larger story.
Should I read it?
Yes- but start at the beginning with Book 1.
"They worked hard, that was obvious. And at least Enzo in front of him, in the factory, women worn out by work, by humiliations, by domestic obligations no less than Lila was. Yet now they were both angry because of the conditions she worked in; they couldn't tolerate it. You had to hide everything from men. They preferred not to know, they preferred to pretend that what happened at the hands of the boss miraculously didn't happen to the women important to them and that- this was the idea they had grown up with- they had to protect her even at the risk of being killed."
If you like this try-
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson
Lila by Marilynne Robinson
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
best of summer/ fall 2018
best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!