Last month, I predicted a very limited set of book review blogs this autumn, as I had chosen to embark on Elena Ferrante’s ambitious and ballyhooed series of novels about friends Lenù and Lila. Given the sheer amount of words, combined with the number of duties I also have to attend to in life – work, parenthood, marriage, sleeping, playing the odd open mic – I expected it would take me a while to get through.
Not so, dear reader. Her writing is vibrant and exciting, and My Brilliant Friend really pulled me along. I had, with a little neglect of other things, reached its end just before we embarked on our cross-continental holiday plans, so I was able to get started on the second novel as my vacation book. Long train journeys (made longer by my good friends at TGV, but that’s a story for another time) are a bit of artificial time; it’s not like real life at all, and it provided sufficient conditions that I’m now launched on Number Three, the appealingly titled Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. Continue reading