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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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zezeki
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Pickpick

This book... I don't know what to say, the writing just goes straight to my heart. It's just brilliant, fantastic, and heartbreaking, and everything that one wants from a novel. I just want to sit with my thoughts now and think about this amazing piece of literature. I'm just not ready to move on with my life yet.

DrexEdit I feel the same way whenever I finish an Elena Ferrante book. 😔 🙂 4mo
Graywacke Yes. To all that. 4mo
60 likes2 comments
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zezeki
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Season of reading in the garden has officially started! ☀️🪴📚📚

BiblioLitten Yes! 4mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Pretty ❤️ 4mo
60 likes2 comments
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thewallflower0707
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I‘ve also finished the Neapel saga by #ElenaFerrante this week! Phew. This series also took me a while. What helped is that the series got better and better, with the last one being a triumphant and emotional finale. After reading 5 of her books, I am now officially a Ferrante fan.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️,5 /5

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Taylor
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Pickpick

The disparity between how this went for me the first time I read it versus the second, emotionally….

Again I have to give part of it up to the fact that I‘m heavily engaged in the show, which makes it all resonate deeper, but never in a way where one takes away from the other.

That‘s not the only reason though.

It‘s a phenomenal accomplishment, this series. I definitely will read another Ferrante novel at some point.

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Taylor

With Ferrante book four coming to a close, I‘m heavily enjoying it, but also very much looking forward to other books I‘ve wanted to get to, which have been on my mind. Any time you read a series, it‘s a huge time investment, and the appeal of a standalone really starts to shine.

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daena
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Current goals before Christmas & New Years: Finish this bobble scarf for my daughter and finish the last book in the Neapolitan series! #knittersoflitsy

sgoffe Such pretty yarn! Is that Spincycle? 2y
Erinreadsthebooks Love your sleeve 😍 2y
daena @sgoffe it is not, but I do love Spincycle! 2y
daena Thank you @Erinreadsthebooks 🖤 2y
24 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Hugs4pandas

“I‘m lying, yes, but why do you force me to give you a linear explanation: linear explanations are almost always lies.”

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Jbakesmcgee3
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ what an ending to an amazing saga!!! I‘m so sad it‘s over

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SLSbooks
Pickpick

The last of the series that can‘t end - there is so much more yet to feel. Elena Ferrante, whoever she may be, does an amazing job of highlighting the push and pull of friendship in complex characters that I expect to walk right up to my door.

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sophierayton
Story of the Lost Child | Elena Ferrante
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Pickpick

So frustrating to have so many loose ends not tied up. Lila is a brat right until the end.

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Annashep
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What a wonderful series of books, all four are amazing .. such a moving saga ... I‘ve just finished the fourth and final book ... I will absolutely re read all four at some point ... they‘re so intricate .. the story for a childhood friendship that runs through the veins of the two main characters and the books ... wow.. I‘m so pleased I‘ve read them but so sorry to have finished them ....

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samantha_che
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Finally starting the last book of this series!!

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Annashep
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New book reads and starts today .... finished Marble Cake it was a bit weird .... and can‘t wait to start The story of the lost child .... had a few days off work and got more reading in yay 📚📚😊😊

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emmaturi
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Pickpick

I finally finished this excellent series. It did not disappoint this last book. Elena and Lila are both such great characters. There was always something going in their lives. It was good in the beginning of the book their are lists of all the people in the story. It helped in case you forgot just how the characters are connected to each other. #books

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Mtroiano
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A sick day is just what I need to get a head start on #24b4monday 📚

Andrew65 Love the cover on this one! 3y
31 likes1 comment
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Mtroiano
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Taking a sick day 🤧

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emmaturi
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1. Love it
2. Stay in
3. Flowers
4. Diana and Matthew from A Discovery of Witches

@howjessreads @4thhouseontheleft
#friyayinto

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emmaturi
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Ok, so I am in Berlin for a long weekend. So of course I searched out an English bookstore and of course I bought some books. My excuse they were cheaper now than in Switzerland! #books

BarbaraBB Enjoy Berlin! Such a great city 💕 3y
emmaturi Thanks, yes I like Berlin a lot! @BarbaraBB 3y
38 likes2 comments
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jdiehr
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Pickpick

Finished the Neapolitan series and, my, what a journey it's been. I loved these books. Ferrante is a master storyteller and the characters she created in this series will not soon be forgotten.

I liked that this final book had many references to the first book. I am heartbroken for Lila and can't stop wondering what happened to "the lost child." Like the characters in the story, we readers will never know.

Life goes on. We do the best we can.

kspenmoll Nice review. Have not read these yet. 3y
Cathythoughts I loved this series... looking forward to her new book .. out this year ( I think ) 3y
BarbaraBB Great review ❤️ 3y
28 likes1 stack add3 comments
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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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Pickpick

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 3y
Cathythoughts Loved this too. It is very readable I agree 3y
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 👍🏻 3y
ReadingEnvy 🤸 3y
youneverarrived Perfect 👌 3y
See All 7 Comments
TrishB A beer lasted 12 months in your fridge 😱 3y
andrew61 @TrishB i know the beer gods will be frowning. 3y
TrishB At least it would have been very cold 👍🏻 3y
Lindy ❤️ Trappist 🍺 and Elena Ferrante. 3y
38 likes7 comments
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Minervasbutler
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Pickpick

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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Pickpick

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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Pickpick

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 👍🏻 3y
ValerieAndBooks I need to start book three sometime soon! 3y
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... 3y
JillR @ValerieAndBooks I‘ve really spaced the series out but enjoyed them more as I‘ve gone along... 3y
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JillR
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Finally ready to finish this series.

Cathythoughts Loved this series ♥️ 3y
JillR I have done so far too :) 3y
Crazeedi When I started the first book I almost put it down, I'm glad I didnt, because I loved these books 3y
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
Pickpick

😭

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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! 4y
32 likes1 comment
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Whitwhit
Story of the Lost Child | Elena Ferrante
Pickpick

Awesome

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Ncostell
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Pickpick

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... 4y
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. 4y
JillR @Ncostell 😊 planning to get to this soon then! 4y
Ncostell @JillR Hope you enjoy it! 4y
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!

ErikasMindfulShelf I started the third one today. Saw the trailer for the HBO series so now I need to finish them all! 4y
Ncostell @irre I know what you mean, I want to finish them before watching the series too! (edited) 4y
susanw Same! I need to still read the last two and now have to get to them before the series starts. 4y
Ncostell @susanw Nothing like an impending movie or TV series to move a book up the TBR pile! 4y
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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 😔 #PercyCat couldn‘t be bothered, however.

JenReadsAlot Great series! 4y
Texreader ❤️ Percy 4y
Cathythoughts I love this series too ❤️ 4y
63 likes1 stack add3 comments
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BlueBowBooks
Story of the Lost Child | Elena Ferrante
Pickpick

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! 4y
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! 4y
69 likes2 comments
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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
Pickpick

Best

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JessieReadsInBK
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Pickpick

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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Pickpick

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