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My Brilliant Friend
My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One | Elena Ferrante
A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship.The story begins in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples. Growing up on these tough streets the two girls learn to rely on each other ahead of anyone or anything else. As they grow, as their paths repeatedly diverge and converge, Elena and Lila remain best friends whose respective destinies are reflected and refracted in the other. They are likewise the embodiments of a nation undergoing momentous change. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her protagonists, the unforgettable Elena and Lila.Ferrante is the author of three previous works of critically acclaimed fiction: The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. With this novel, the first in a tetralogy, she proves herself to be one of Italy’s great storytellers. She has given her readers a masterfully plotted page-turner, abundant and generous in its narrative details and characterizations, that is also a stylish work of literary fiction destined to delight her many fans and win new readers to her fiction.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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mldkennedy
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Pickpick

JUNE 2019: I finally went down the Ferrante wormhole! To my surprise, my favorite character is Naples. The way she depicts the widespread poverty and violence after WWII and how that affected the city's working class is striking. I found a great Time Magazine article about the history of Naples in conversation with these novels, which I really suggest. I've started book two and I am kind of lukewarm about it so far. Did anyone else feel that way?

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AnneCecilie
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Mehso-so

The first book in the story about Elena and Lila told in retrospect by Elena about their childhood and early teenage yrs.

I think it‘s hard to rate this book. I liked it more than I thought I would. What tipped it to a so-so for me was that I could put it down last night before going to sleep with only 16p left. Normally I would have finished the book.

I will probably read the remaining 3 books, but I won‘t rush to the library to borrow them.

Velvetfur I've got this but haven't read it yet - watched all of the TV series though and loved it! Have you seen it too? Wondering how it compares to the book.... 2w
AnneCecilie @Velvetfur unfortunately I haven‘t seen the series yet. It‘s on HBO and I don‘t have that channel. I‘m not sure how helpful this is but a friend of mine that has both read the first novel and seen the series prefer the series. She‘s raving about the series and has recommended it to me several times 2w
LapReader If you got a little further you would have delved straight into the next book. 2w
CarolynM I read this a few years ago. I found it interesting, but I've never been moved to pick up the next book in the series. 2w
Velvetfur @AnneCecilie Oh that's interesting! I'm curious to read the novel now with that in mind....one I competed my reading challenges, heh 😊 Thanks for your insight 👍 2w
43 likes1 stack add5 comments
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AnneCecilie
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Next up.

I feel like I‘m the last person in the world to read Ferrante, but I‘ve some bad experiences reading books on the bestseller list.

Borrowed this from the library and since I‘m going to see the documentary “Ferrante Fever” next Tuesday, I thought now is the time to give this a go.

I hope this book proves me wrong.

Marina_h I haven't read her books either, but they are high on my TBR! Hope you'll enjoy it 😊 2w
Henrik_Madsen Well, We are at least two persons who haven‘t read Ferrante yet.😃 2w
ferskner I hadn't read her until late last year, and I was very pleasantly surprised. I hope you like it! Certainly a better cover than the American edition. 2w
47 likes1 stack add3 comments
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Erin.Elizabeth10
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Mehso-so

At first, I didn‘t really like this book. It took me a long time to get through the first chapters. But once I started reading it with a bit more of an academic eye, rather than looking for entertainment, I enjoyed it more. Still not my favorite, but definitely an interesting read!

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diffendale
Pickpick

😎

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ehewett88
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switching between two books, I always like to have a lighter one if I am reading an intense book and my other book right now is the Iliad so this is my little breather haha

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S.Web
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Pickpick

So good! Going to the store today to buy the second one 😁

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phyhill
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My library hold came in! 😁 I loved this book series and can't wait to start watching this.

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Crazeedi
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#Shesleavinghome #BeatleMaynia @Eggs
She tried and tried to leave, but her heart for better or worse was Neapolitano

GatheringBooks my husband and i are watching the hbo tv series adaptation - it is so so sooo good. 1mo
Crazeedi @GatheringBooks glad to hear, at first I thought I'm not going to read this, but then a few chapters in it grabbed me and I read them all. Very different, very good 1mo
Eggs Nicely characterized @Crazeedi 🤗💗💗 1mo
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suzisteffen @GatheringBooks OHHHH I need to watch that! @Crazeedi I did not like the first book very much, and then BOOM, I read the next three quickly and just adored them. 1mo
Cathythoughts I loved this one. ( all of them ) The power of the family 💔 1mo
Crazeedi @Eggs thanks! 1mo
Crazeedi @suzisteffen @Cathythoughts I almost stopped reading the first one, then it hooked me and I never looked back 1mo
emmaturi I have read the first two and loved them! 1mo
Crazeedi @emmaturi I gave my series to my friend or I would have sent to you 1mo
emmaturi Oh thanks, but I have the other two already! 1mo
71 likes10 comments
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RebL
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If you can‘t travel the world, you may as well read it. In the case of this series, maybe even watch it.

Tamra So pretty! 2mo
SarahHarts_books Beautiful flowers!!💖 1mo
15 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Foxnorth
L'amica geniale | Elena Ferrante

So far I'm quite enjoying the style and subject, although I'm going to have to break out the Italian dictionary at some point!

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ehewett88
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Started a new book tonight. one I have been looking forward to for a while!!!

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Emilymdxn
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#wondrouswednesday @Eggs

1. I‘ve been compared to Lenu from My Brilliant Friend a few times and I‘m v proud 😇

2. Every male Bildungsroman protagonist who writes paragraphs about wanking being good for the soul and is very proud of having read Don Quixote. And Tyler Durden

3. Foyles or Forbidden Planet in London

4. @Skye1 and @vishodev you‘re my two newest followers! Hello there 😘

Eggs #2 😂😂 2mo
50 likes1 comment
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sakeriver
Pickpick

Going into this book I knew very little about it, only that it is about a friendship between women and that a lot of people liked it. And certainly I found the central friendship compelling but there was so much more that I loved, too. The neighborhood and its community felt very real to me, and the ways class and violence (and the threat of male violence) permeated nearly every interaction. Really interested to see where this goes.

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Liz_M
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Mehso-so

An interesting depiction of coming of age in post-WWII Naples (how accurate, I don't know), but overall the writing felt flat. It is relentlessly single point of view with little complexity to the narration -- no omniscient description or narrator observations to reinforce (or contradict) Lenu. Nothing hints at any inner life of other characters. Once the narrator is in high school I was utterly bored with her life and the perfect Lila.

Liz_M 2.5 🌟 #ATY2019 15 Mediterranean setting, #Readingwomen 21 3mo
BarbaraBB So no continuation for you I suppose?! 2mo
Liz_M @BarbaraBB Oh I will, the 4th volume is on the 1001 list after all. I'm just not as enthusiastic as the rest of the world :-) 2mo
BarbaraBB It gets better. I wasn‘t impressed with the first volume either. 2 and 3 are real good though. 2mo
17 likes4 comments
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Aloisi_tribe
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1. Friday
2. The Beatles
3. Work then dinner with an old friend from high school
4. In Cold Blood was the last one I‘ve finished. Currently reading the tagged book and Paul Tremblay‘s Cabin at the End of the World.

#premondayvibes @pepsicola

pepsicola Thanks for playing! 3mo
23 likes1 comment
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sakeriver
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Next

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sophierayton
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Pickpick

For the first two-thirds of this book I couldn't wait for it to end, then I started thinking about reading the whole series. It is beautifully written and the story is good, but on the whole, it didn't do it for me.

WhatWouldJaneDo I read the series and I think the first part of this one was the slowest for me. The way it ended was intriguing enough to keep me going and I loved the next one! I can understand it falling a bit flat though. 3mo
sophierayton @WhatWouldJaneDo Good to know, I might just have to carry on then 🙂 3mo
42 likes2 comments
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xicanti
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It was relatively warm today (-6 when I set out; -2 now), so I took a 6.3-mile walk that involved a greasy and delicious McGriddle, a trip to my old library, and three thrift stores. The last of these coughed up a bunch of books: three more of Linnea Sinclair's SF romances for my mum, plus copies of MY BRILLIANT FRIEND and A PRINCESS IN THEORY for my stash of stuff that might do for swaps someday.

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rebbyj
Pickpick

interesting.

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cinann
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I was looking for pastel books and realized I had a lot of pink and blue books, but not many yellow, purple, or blue.

SilversReviews So pretty!! 3mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks So pretty!!! 💗💗💗 3mo
22 likes2 comments
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BethMcQ
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Pickpick

A friend recommended this #audiobook and I picked it up not knowing anything. The world is immersive and I love the titular relationship. However, I did not know this was a series so the cliffhanger was a real bummer. HOODWINKED.

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MrBook
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These are the replacements for the #FirstInASeries Display 😁! Have you read any of these? (“The Parable of the Sower” was returned and is back on it again! 👍🏻👍🏻)

#LitsyLovesLibraries #MrBooksDisplays

ehewett88 Patricia Cornwall is brilliant 5mo
See All 8 Comments
Kimmie My brilliant friend is amazing 5mo
rwmg I've read the first two in the Patricia Cornwell omnibus as separate volumes and decided enough was enough. I hated Scarpetta. She never stopped whining. 5mo
Suetara The Fiona Buckley series is terrific. 5mo
84 likes8 comments
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Saari84
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Puh...ich tue mich ja etwas schwer mit diesem Buch...
Ich find's öde und belanglos, die Sprache kann mich überhaupt nicht gefangen nehmen und irgendwie wirkt alles so heruntergeleiert...
Ich weiß noch nicht, ob ich es beenden werde, aber eins weiß ich:
Die anderen Bände werden nicht den Weg zu mir nach Hause finden!
#buch #buecherwurm #buecherliebe #bookstagram #lesen #leseliebe #bibliophile #bookaholic #buecher

Buechersuechtling Ja, deine Einschätzung trifft ziemlich genau wie ich mich beim Lesen gefühlt habe. Ich hab‘s dann wie gesagt irgendwann weg gelegt. 5mo
Saari84 @Buechersuechtling Jap, ich bezweifel auch das ich es beenden werde...das ist mir zu viel verschenkte Zeit. Es gibt so viele Bücher die noch gelesen werden müssen 😁 5mo
Buechersuechtling @Saari84 _Das_ ist die richtige Einstellung. 😃 5mo
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Buechersuechtling @Saari84 Erst dachte ich: „Was finden die Leute nur daran?“ Und dann dachte ich: „Drei davon? Nein, danke!“ – und abgehakt. 5mo
Saari84 @Buechersuechtling Jap, eins weiß ich sicher: die anderen Bände werden es definitiv nicht zu mir nach Hause schaffen 😆 5mo
Buechersuechtling @Saari84 Hast du‘s gekauft❓ 5mo
Saari84 @Buechersuechtling Jap, bei rebuy für 3€. Das kann man dann verschmerzen 5mo
5 likes1 stack add7 comments
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wen4blu
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Newton's review: "This story is one I can really sink my teeth into." ?

CoverToCoverGirl 😻🥰 5mo
BookFrog 😂😂 5mo
Erofan 😂😻 4mo
54 likes1 stack add3 comments
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KaatjeH
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Pickpick

I really liked this story about two girls growing up in Naples.
That cover though🙄

BarbaraBB You should have read it in Dutch 😉. That cover is much better! 5mo
KaatjeH @BarbaraBB you would have to try very hard to make it worse 😜 5mo
Oracle cover is naff 😊😂 5mo
10 likes3 comments
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Saari84
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Wieder daheim, hat die Arbeit mich wieder voll in Beschlag genommen...
Nun habe ich Feierabend und mein "Wochenende" startet.
Schon lange schleiche ich um die Ferrante Bücher herum, hab ich doch die Erfahrung gemacht, dass solch gehypten Bücher mir oftmals nicht zusagen...
Ich gebe ihr aber endlich eine Chance?
Habt ihr die Reihe schon gelesen? Haben sie euch gefallen?
#buchliebe #bookish #bibliophile #coffeeandbooks #booksandcoffee #bookstagram

Buechersuechtling Ja, nachdem ich auch erst um die Reihe herumgeschlichen bin wie die Katze um den heißen Brei, habe ich sie mir vorgemerkt und ausgeliehen – und nach wenigen Seiten abgebrochen. Ich erinnere mich nur noch einen furchtbar langweiligen Erzählstil. Völlig überbewertet in meinen Augen. ? Ich wünsche dir, dass sie dir gefallen, denn enttäuschende Lese-Erlebnisse sind so schade. ?? Buechersuechtling's post on Litsy http://litsy.com/p/bmNnZHMybDFW (edited) 5mo
Saari84 @Buechersuechtling ehrlich gesagt, rechne ich ja auch mit so etwas 🙈🙊 ich werde berichten, wie es mir gefällt 😁 5mo
4 likes2 comments
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Judie1
Pickpick

Can‘t believe how good the TV series was. Almost as good as the book.

SilversReviews @CoffeeNBooks Welcome, and thanks for the mention. ♥️ 5mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Thanks for the tag!! Welcome to Litsy!! 5mo
See All 13 Comments
MrBook Welcome to the #LitsyFamily, @Judie1 ! 😁👏🏻 5mo
Judie1 Thanks for all the welcomes! Still trying to work things out. 5mo
ProfReader Welcome to Litsy!!📚📖💜💛💙 5mo
Traci1 Welcome to Litsy! 5mo
Soubhiville Hi! Welcome! 5mo
Ericalambbrown 👋 Welcome to Litsy! Hope you love it here! 😊❤️📚 5mo
Libby1 Welcome to Litsy! ❤️📚❤️ 5mo
Purrfectpages Welcome to Litsy! 5mo
Eggs Welcome to Litsy 🌺 5mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Welcome to Litsy 📖💙 4mo
22 likes1 stack add13 comments
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KaatjeH
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Still reading this book. And although I'm liking the story, I don't like the cover.
So no picture of the book, but a picture of our morning walk this cold saturday morning

#currentlyreading

Oracle good call 5mo
13 likes1 comment
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Marik1
Pickpick

😭

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KaatjeH
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Trying to start my next book, but my friend has other plans...

#dogsoflitsy
#currentlyreading (sort of)

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Callsie
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In a hotel somewhere in Cusco, Peru snuggling up to a good book after a long day touristing!

Biverson12 Buen viaje 🌎 5mo
ProfReader Welcome to Litsy!!! 😀 5mo
Crazeedi Welcome to litsy! I loved this book! 5mo
11 likes3 comments
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GidgetsTreasures75
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1-8-19: My second finished book of 2019! #mybrilliantfriend #elenaferrante 👍🏼📖#️⃣2️⃣

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GidgetsTreasures75
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Looking back at my year of books! I didn‘t reach my goal but I‘m still proud of all the great books I read in 2018!

Tex2Flo It‘s not the quantity of the books, but the quality that makes the difference. 5mo
GidgetsTreasures75 Very true! 5mo
7 likes2 comments
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AyaOfSiwa
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Pickpick

I read the book surprisingly fast. This book has drawn me into it's story.
I had a friend like Lila, but I quickly discovered who she really was and forever told her goodbye.

#croatianedition

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ferskner
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Pickpick

I think I'm the last person to read this, and honestly it's because I loathe the cover so much. But thanks to some book challenge prompts, I had to read it!

I'm not sure if I enjoyed it because my family is Italian and I could imagine this being my mom's life if her grandparents had made different decisions, but I get the hype now. Plus, it oozes Napolitano realness!

#pop18 #bookwithanuglycover #readharder #bookwithacoveryouhate @bookriot

BarbaraBB I hope you‘ll read the second instalment. It gets better with every book! 💕 5mo
ferskner @BarbaraBB I absolutely will! And one of my goals this year is to finish the series I start. 😂 5mo
LeeRHarry I have it on my Litsy A to Z list for this year - so you‘re not the last person 😏 I want to watch the TV series afterwards 😊 5mo
See All 7 Comments
emilyhaldi Lol, I‘ve been meaning to read it too but the cover definitely deters me 😆 who was in charge of that?! Ugh. 5mo
ferskner @LeeRHarry me too! Nothing like a movie coming out to make me more interested in a book. 😋 @emilyhaldi Right?? And the publisher's covers are all bad. I actually know someone who works with them (not for them) and I hear they're moving toward some better design. 5mo
Oracle everyone loathes the cover. too funny 5mo
Oracle like wine labels - it matters! 5mo
84 likes1 stack add7 comments
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mcctrish
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Mehso-so

First book finished in 2019, part yay and part should have finished a week ago 🤣VERY interesting ending but not worth slogging through any more of the Neapolitan novels ( probably should be a pan)

Melissa_J Where is this picture taken? Are you in Vienna? I feel like I‘ve been to that church. Also, based on your review I‘m in no rush to check My Brilliant Friend off of my read list. 5mo
mcctrish Yes @Melissa_J I am in Vienna, you have a great eye. We are in Europe for Christmas/New Years. Seriously the one sentence at the end was the best part of the whole book. (edited) 5mo
Lauram Beautiful! 5mo
mcctrish Thx @Lauram an organist was playing and it was just a lovely break in our day 5mo
28 likes4 comments
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AyaOfSiwa

"Dobro, dođite svi: pit ćemo pjenušac, plesati, nova godina, novi život."

"All right, come everyone: we'll have a champagne, dance, a new year, a new life."

#croatianedition

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mcctrish
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The cover is awful and the beginning is brutal, but I may just finish it as the end seems okay 😜

Trashcanman It's certainly better than most can do. Keep at it. 5mo
46 likes2 comments
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EleniKara
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Pickpick

Once I got into it I really did, the dynamic of Lenu and Lila is incredibly complex and tempestuous (and there were totally some sapphic vibes there). Every character in this is deeply flawed, and it really highlight the violence which seems to shape “the plebs” and their neighborhood. I may continue this series at some point, but I also don‘t know if I can emotionally put myself through seeing Lila and Lenu get to the point the book starts with.

57 likes1 stack add
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AyaOfSiwa
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I started reading this stunning book. I like it very much. I can not drop it out of my hand. I have a feeling like I'm in the book, side by side, with Lila. I'm looking for her approval for everyone.
And she is such a mean girl.

#croatianedition

1 like1 stack add
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Unabridged
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Pickpick

This book lived up to my expectations--Ferrante develops the tempestuous friendship between Elena and Lila with subtlety and complexity, never overlooking the treachery that underlies their genuine loyalty. Told in a series of fairly brief chapters, My Brilliant Friend paints a vivid picture of the poverty-stricken village in which the girls grow up and from which Elena wishes to escape. I'm really looking forward to watching the series now!

7 likes1 comment
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mcctrish
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On page 127, still not sure if I‘m going to finish this, but it got a bit better recently. On the train to Vienna from Munich and my apfel sprizz is part motivational speaker

Melissa_J If you have the chance, I recommend going to the Cafe Sacher in Vienna and trying the Sacher-Torte. It‘s delicious 😋 6mo
mcctrish Oh thank you for the suggestion @Melissa_J 6mo
EleniKara I‘m currently reading it too! Took me a while to get into it but definitely when it reaches teenage years more stuff begins to happen, here and there. Or maybe it was just a growing fondness for the characters. Do what you‘re feeling though 😊 (edited) 6mo
mcctrish @EleniKara basically everybody seems like an asshole, beating each other, trash talking everyone. Just misery all around. But you are right, teenage years seem a bit more tolerable. Sometimes I think the translation is wrong 6mo
33 likes4 comments