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The Story of a New Name: A Novel (Neapolitan Novels, 2)

Paperback - 03 September 2013
Ferrante, Elena (Author)
Goldstein, Ann (Translator)
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A novel in the bestselling quartet about two very different women and their complex friendship: "Everyone should read anything with Ferrante's name on it" (The Boston Globe).

The follow-up to My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name continues the epic New York Times-bestselling literary quartet that has inspired an HBO series, and returns us to the world of Lila and Elena, who grew up together in post-WWII Naples, Italy.

In The Story of a New Name, Lila has recently married and made her entrée into the family business; Elena, meanwhile, continues her studies and her exploration of the world beyond the neighborhood that she so often finds stifling. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila, and the pressure to excel is at times too much for Elena. Yet the two young women share a complex and evolving bond that is central to their emotional lives and a source of strength in the face of life's challenges. In these Neapolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante, "one of the great novelists of our time" (The New York Times), gives us a poignant and universal story about friendship and belonging, a meditation on love and jealousy, freedom and commitment--at once a masterfully plotted page-turner and an intense, generous-hearted family saga.

"Imagine if Jane Austen got angry and you'll have some idea of how explosive these works are." --The Australian

"Brilliant . . . captivating and insightful . . . the richness of her storytelling is likely to please fans of Sara Gruen and Silvia Avallone." --Booklist (starred review)

Customer Reviews

1 customer reviews Between 4−5 stars rating, 02 February 2017
World class bildungsroman
By: Ivan Atmanagara

I thought the second book after My Brilliant Friend could not be better or having its plot falling apart, like most sequels. I was unfortunately wrong. This book is more captivating than its predecessor. It's better engaged with the development and the complexity of those unforgettable characters. Here, we follow Lenuccia trying to keep a distance off the frivolous life in the outskirt city of Naples, off its boring yet toxic people, and off her more estranged best... See More

friend. Lila, meanwhile is showing off being the new Lady Carracci, but from time to time keeps reminding herself and people around her the bitter end of her choice to marry at young age. The silent battle between the two friends could not be fiercer; one always tries to outdo, outsmart, outplay each other, which brings conflicts to people around them. But in the end, Lenu, albeit with great struggle and agitation, powers through the highest possible education (and "reeducation") that brings her to a new place, new people, and new identity. This achievement is not without sacrifice, but once accomplished, elevates her status and that of her family. But it is her attachment to Lila that shapes her past and future. The novel is written beautifully, sometimes frighteningly vivid and obsessively humane and I could not put it down.

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