Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante****

30 December 2019

Reading Dates: 25 November – 21 December 2019

The reach of the Neapolitan Quartet is quite astounding. Book three deals with the means of production, revolt, resistance and feminine sexuality, as well as issues of family, as in the previous books. When I say deals, I mean it like an ideological treatise explained in novel form, a little like the Marquis de Sade used to do. It is absolutely wonderful, even if harrowing and hard going at times. There is less of Lila and more of Elena in these lines, and the story takes a while to pick up but when it does, the writing is vivid, the chapters perfectly articulated, the narration impeccable.

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