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The Story of the Lost Child
The Story of the Lost Child: Neapolitan Novels, Book Four | Elena Ferrante
Nothing quite like this has ever been published before, proclaimed The Guardian newspaper about the Neapolitan Novels in 2014. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, the third book in the series, was an international best seller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Its author was dubbed one of the great novelists of our time by the New York Times Book Review. This fourth and final installment in the series raises the bar even higher and indeed confirms Elena Ferrante as one of the worlds best living storytellers.Here is the dazzling saga of two women, the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery uncontainable Lila. In this book, both are adults; lifes great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the womens friendship, examined in its every detail over the course of four books, remains the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew upa prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. But now, she has returned to Naples to be with the man she has always loved. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from Naples. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Yet somehow this proximity to a world she has always rejected only brings her role as unacknowledged leader of that world into relief. For Lila is unstoppable, unmanageable, unforgettable!Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, this story of a lifelong friendship is told with unmatched honesty. Lila and Elena clash, drift apart, reconcile, and clash again, in the process revealing new facets of their friendship.The four volumes in this series constitute a long remarkable story that readers will return to again and again, and, like Elena and Lila themselves, every return will bring with it new discoveries.Four starred reviews for Book 3 in the series14 best-of-the-year appearances for Book 3
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daena
Story of the Lost Child | Elena Ferrante
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4 years ago my childhood best friend and I started our journey through the Neapolitan novels. Tonight we are beginning the last book. 💜🦋

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andrew61
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I'd forgotten how readable this series was when i picked up the last book which sees lena and lila move towards their later years amidst deteriorating relationships, children, aging parents, career changes and most of all changes in their friendship. This has been a wonderful series and i was so sorry to finish but oh lila, lila, lila....

Crazeedi I thought the same, a great series, very intense 5mo
Cathythoughts Loved this too. It is very readable I agree 5mo
36 likes2 comments
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andrew61
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#readingenvysummerchallenge @ReadingEnvy I'm off this week and next and we are heading to lyme regis Saturday so as im the only one in the house on a Thursday afternoon i thought id combine something blue on cd player with something translated as i start again on the challenge ( i am loving being back in lena and lilas world for last time) with a Belgian beer my daughter bought back from interrail 12 months ago! Bliss 😁

Cathythoughts That‘s the life 👍🏻 6mo
ReadingEnvy 🤸 6mo
youneverarrived Perfect 👌 6mo
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TrishB A beer lasted 12 months in your fridge 😱 6mo
andrew61 @TrishB i know the beer gods will be frowning. 6mo
TrishB At least it would have been very cold 👍🏻 6mo
Lindy ❤️ Trappist 🍺 and Elena Ferrante. 5mo
38 likes7 comments
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Minervasbutler
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Elena has left worthy but dull husband Pietro for Lila's old squeeze Nino, son of the man who took her virginity all those years ago and continuing to make a name for herself as a writer. Historically speaking we're in the period of the Red Brigades, the five-party coalition governments and the 1980 Naples earthquake, of which we get a brilliantly evocative description. Triumphant conclusion to one of the greatest novel sequences ever written.

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Joanne1
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The last instalment of the Neapolitan novels takes Lila and Lenu through the tumultuous periods of divorce, parenting teenagers and finding space for a thriving and renewing work life. Add to this their complex web of friendships and family, underworld doings, vanished children, lies, betrayal and murder. After four thick novels you‘d think everything would be answered but that would be far too near for Lila and Lenu.

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JillR
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It feels an achievement to have finished the Neopolitan Novels. The friendship of Elena and Lila, against the backdrop of the raw brutalities of life in Naples over decades, makes for a story like none I‘ve ever read. Such a frank and truthful depiction of motherhood as well as the complexities of female relationships. No one in these books is always likeable or consistently sympathetic. The lives portrayed are as intense as the story is to read.

Cathythoughts Great review! Yes I found it very intense too ... I like that 👍🏻 7mo
ValerieAndBooks I need to start book three sometime soon! 7mo
JillR @cathythoughts a few years ago I would have given up after the first book for being too “hard” - a couple of years on Litsy, plus Wolf Hall and other authors that scare me conquered and now I‘m annoyed if I read something not intense enough 😆. Interesting how reading tastes change... 7mo
JillR @ValerieAndBooks I‘ve really spaced the series out but enjoyed them more as I‘ve gone along... 7mo
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JillR
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Finally ready to finish this series.

Cathythoughts Loved this series ♥️ 7mo
JillR I have done so far too :) 7mo
Crazeedi When I started the first book I almost put it down, I'm glad I didnt, because I loved these books 7mo
47 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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bedandabook
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Heaven! I‘m spending the evening with a cat on my lap, reading the last of The Neapolitan Novels. This book is a suitably gripping, and beautifully written, finale to a stunning series and I shall be sad to reach the end.

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andioop
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😭

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mirellalella86
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35%

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tricours
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Pickpick

I'm still not quite sure how this series became such a huge success, BUT I did enjoy listening to it. The first book took me some time to get through since I actually read it, but the others I more or less flew through. But just imagine this story from Lila's perspective!

hilded Jeg har hørt fra flere at de bare blir bedre og bedre, gleder meg til å lese de neste år! 13mo
32 likes1 comment
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mirellalella86
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Whitwhit
Story of the Lost Child | Elena Ferrante
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Awesome

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Ncostell
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I have finally finished the series after spacing these books out over several years because I didn‘t want to see them end. I‘m sure I‘ll be thinking of these books for years to come and may even reread them, something I rarely do. And of course there‘s the upcoming HBO series to look forward to!

JillR I‘m doing the same - I just gave this one left and keep thinking “hmmm I‘ll just save it a little longer...” How did you think this one compared to the others? Book two has been my favourite so far... 1y
Ncostell @JillR I think it really tied the whole series together, returning back to many incidents from the first book. I also really enjoyed the second book. The third dragged a little for me, but this one reminded me why I loved the first books so much. 1y
JillR @Ncostell 😊 planning to get to this soon then! 1y
Ncostell @JillR Hope you enjoy it! 1y
65 likes4 comments
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Ncostell
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I‘m going back in! I‘ve been spacing these books out because I don‘t want them to end, however now I need to try to remember what happened in the last book and the connections between the cast of characters. Thank goodness for the character list in the front of the book!

irre I started the third one today. Saw the trailer for the HBO series so now I need to finish them all! 1y
Ncostell @irre I know what you mean, I want to finish them before watching the series too! (edited) 1y
susanw Same! I need to still read the last two and now have to get to them before the series starts. 1y
Ncostell @susanw Nothing like an impending movie or TV series to move a book up the TBR pile! 1y
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cariashley
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Pickpick

Can‘t believe I‘m done with this series. Very sad I won‘t have another one to read next summer 😔 Percy couldn‘t be bothered, however.

JenReadsAlot Great series! 1y
Texreader ❤️ Percy 1y
Cathythoughts I love this series too ❤️ 1y
63 likes1 stack add3 comments
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BlueBowBooks
Story of the Lost Child | Elena Ferrante
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Fourth and final novel in Ferrante's excellent series. The story is tied up so elegantly; no false notes the whole way through. I just finished it, and I'm so sorry that it's over.

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cariashley
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I‘ve read one of the Neapolitan novels every summer for the past few years and it‘s time to start the finale. Am both excited and sad. 😢

Lola That‘s how I felt with the last one. I just didn‘t want to saga to end. Enjoy! 1y
Ncostell I‘ve been spacing them out too because I don‘t want them to end either. I‘m going to get to this one soon, I know how you feel! 1y
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Booksnob
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Squee. Book #4. Love this series. Addicted for sure.

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Deborah42
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Mehso-so

Neapolitan Novels, # 4.

“Unlike stories, real life, when it has passed, inclines toward obscurity, not clarity.”

It‘s hard to give a plot summary for this final book in he saga of Elena and Lila without spoilers, but I will say that their relationship matures in some ways, but remains problematic.

The toxic friendship between Elena and Lila and the violent misogyny of their neighborhood made these books a slog for me.

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adhillon89
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Best

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JessieReadsInBK
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Have you ever finished a book in a public location and felt like crying because it was over? That was me this morning in the nail salon after finishing the last book in Elena Ferrante‘s Neapolitan Series. I maintained my composure but boy, am I sad.

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rachaich
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Sob. I've finished. Completely absorbing and stopped me from household chores! I feel that I've not only felt the realms and boundaries of in depth and challenging female friendship but also an idea of Italian politics and corruption :/. The neighbourhood imagery was so intense. An epic series :) :)

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rachaich
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Mixed feelings about reading this as it's the final book :(
However, I've hugely enjoyed the previous three so am maintaining that life will not end when I've finished!
So far it's actually even better. I'm learning a lot more about female roles in the era, and the craziness of relationships everywhere!

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JessieReadsInBK
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This morning I biked 41 miles in the 5 Boro Bike Tour in NYC because I sort of had to for work (see some snaps on Dr. Oz‘s instagram (@dr_oz)) but I had a lot of fun! My legs feel like jelly so I‘ve retired to the couch to read this beautiful novel. I‘m sad for this series to end and really, really hope HBO does the book‘s justice.

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mrsthilkey
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Fun!!
1. 16
2. 35
3. Killers of the Flower Moon- Grann; The Great Alone- Hannah; The Story of the Lost Child- Ferrante
4. Circe 😉 and the new Kate Atkinson

#2018checkin

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fleeting
Pickpick

A satisfying literary journey: politics, theories, families, & the grittiness of Naples (or any city, really). Ferrante paints a portrait of 'her' Naples vividly & weaves different lives & thoughts elegantly, but never loses sight of Elena & Lila's relationship--the heart & charm of the books. It's hard to sustain a reader's interest in 4 books but Ferrante did it well by constantly breaking assumptions; deconstructing & reconstructing characters.

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Scarlett_ohara
Story of the Lost Child | Elena Ferrante
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Pickpick

I've finally finished the series, it's definitely one which will stay with me for a long time. It's very different, I loved it, and this last book in particular is very heartbreaking. One of the characters made me want to throw my Kindle at the wall (which is saying something when you know how much I worship my Kindle). A book which gives me such strong feelings is definitely a memorable one.

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Wilkie
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DannyOlda
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Just finished the Neapolitan novels today. 💔

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Jeanette
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Planner, coffee, first read of 2018. Here we go...

Jeanette CANCEL NINO. CANCEL PATRIARCHY. 2y
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ClairesReads
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Pickpick

The Story of the Lost Child, is the strongest, and most adult of the Neapolitan novels- and thus, the most subtly devastating. This is a novel about the ways we hurt each other and the ways we hurt ourselves. It is about the balance between self-preservation and sacrifice. It is about the complex relationships we have with the places we have grown up which both make us who we are, and break us continually. It is perfection.

Reviewsbylola I love your review. I want to read this series. 2y
ClairesReads @Reviewsbylola thank you! I can‘t recommend this series more highly! It‘s just wonderful 2y
DrexEdit Can't wait to get to this book! 2y
ClairesReads @DrexEdit it‘s soooo good! I delayed for so long because I didn‘t want them to end. 2y
33 likes4 comments
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ClairesReads
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ClairesReads
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Lila 🔥

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ClairesReads
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Ferrante is just a genius

Knightingale That‘s beautiful. 2y
ClairesReads @Knightingale I thought so too 2y
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ClairesReads
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I can‘t delay reading this just because I don‘t want this series to end any longer...it‘s just getting ridiculous

BarbaraBB I know what you mean. It is a worthy final book of the series. Enjoy! 2y
ClairesReads @BarbaraBB thank you! Anticipation is high 2y
Redheadrambles Ooh loved this one maybe my favourite of the series 2y
ClairesReads @Redheadrambles oh Yass! I am highly anticipating greatness here 2y
30 likes4 comments
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Leftcoastzen
Story of the Lost Child | Elena Ferrante
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#NovemberByTheNumbers #4 I rave too much about Knaausgaard ,this is volume 4 . I have read 5 as well , waiting for 6. in Ferrantes‘ wonderful series , this is volume 4. I have read 1 and 2, the others still on my TBR.

Liz_M Oh dear, I am trying to avoid getting ducked into these series. Litsy can be so cruel. :'( :'( :@ 2y
Leftcoastzen @Liz_M I avoid series too.The mercurial yet enduring friendship of Elena and Lila is pretty amazing.I have 2 to go! The first (edited) 2y
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Christine11
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Pickpick

This last part of a series entitled ‘the Neapolitan novels‘ was fantastic. Every book in the series was a completely unflinching look at a life long friendship. The honesty of the characters feelings with no sugar coating was unusual in a novel about female friendship. It is a unique set of books and extremely memorable.

DebinHawaii Welcome to Litsy! 🎉📚👍😀 Hope you enjoy it here! 2y
Christine11 Thank you! ☺️ 2y
Sace Welcome to Litsy! Hope you love it here! 2y
See All 10 Comments
Christine11 Thanks ! 😊 2y
RaimeyGallant Welcome to Litsy! #LitsyWelcomeWagon 2y
Christine11 Thanks! ☺️ 2y
Jess7 Welcome to Litsy! 2y
RaimeyGallant P.S. Here's a compilation of Litsy tips that some of us put together:
http://litsy.com/p/aDJja2lMZFFY
2y
Christine11 @RaimeyGallant Thank you - that will be so handy to look at ! 2y
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Casmt
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Pickpick

❤️

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EKonrad
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Pickpick

I have officially completed all four of the Neapolitan novels! What a beautiful, in-depth portrayal of two women who struggle to maintain their friendship through the rough terrain of life in Italy. So sad the series has ended, but feel so grateful to have experienced this masterpiece of fiction. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

merelybookish I loved this series too! Hope to re-read it sometime. 3y
EKonrad @merelybookish Yeah, I think it'd be really interesting to go back and read the first and second books now that I know how everything ends. 3y
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xicanti
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Pickpick

The third book is still my favourite, but this one brings Ferrante's series to an affecting close. She's so good at showing how her characters move through the world, ever aware of their flaws and of the ways their relationships inform their actions. These books are a study in human nature that will linger with me for ages. I'm beyond glad I read them.

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BarbaraBB
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Wow. Finished it. In the end I keep wondering how autobiographical the story is. I am leaning towards the thought that it is - but partly. Perhaps it is, but without Lina. Perhaps Ferrante wrote a story about Naples and Elena (herself?), needing Lina to explain herself and the choices she made in life. Needing Lina as an opponent and a conscious. Needing Lina to feel better.

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TheBookCorgi
Story of the Lost Child | Elena Ferrante
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Last year, Dylan learned the hard way that sometimes #ElenaFerrante comes first. 😅🙈 #ReadingWomenMonth #womenintranslation #ferrantefever #dissaprovingcorgi

EvieBee Hahaha! 🐶❤️ 3y
Sue That face! 😻 3y
Hooked_on_books Oh goodness, what cuteness! 3y
batsy Awww 3y
57 likes4 stack adds4 comments
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alisonrose
Pickpick

This book, this series.......oh my lord. The ending of this (including the quote I just posted) just gutted me, but in that painfully exquisite way that a masterful writer can do. I teared up for the last pages, literally had to catch my breath. What a treasure these books are for the world. 💗💗💗 5/5 ⭐

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alisonrose

Unlike stories, real life, when it has passed, inclines toward obscurity, not clarity.

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alisonrose

It was no longer a matter of the brilliant person who since she was a child had had the capacity to take the disorder from your head and heart to give it back to you well organized or, if she couldn't stand you, to confuse your ideas and leave you depressed.