Wednesday 11 December 2019
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theguardian - 24 days ago

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante review – a rebel rich girl comes of age

Italians who queued up into the night for the reclusive writer’s new tale of painful adolescence won’t be disappointedIn a 2005 newspaper article entitled “Madame Bovary was my mother”, Elena Ferrante revealed that she had always wondered whether her own mother had perhaps harboured the thoughts of Flaubert’s frustrated heroine: “It’s strange how ugly this child is.”This is where Ferrante’s latest novel, The Lying Life of Adults, begins. Giovanna, a meek, obedient 12-year-old growing up in a middle-class part of Naples, overhears her father comparing her to his estranged sister Vittoria, who her parents had always described as someone in whom “ugliness and nastiness were perfectly matched”. His words precipitate a series of events that throw Giovanna’s life into chaos as she attempts to unravel the reasons behind the family fallout. Continue reading...


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