so I finally finished the quartet of books by Elena Ferrante about 2 friends and their relationship throughout their lives and being brought up in Naples. It starts in the 1950’s and retells their friendship, their careers, their ups and their downs. I don’t want to say too much, as I do highly recommend you take the time to read them. by the end though, I think that I didn’t like either character. I have read that many people say it reveals the true characters of female friends and how they really feel about each other – I hope not, because as much as I wanted to like Lila, the narrator would try her best to turn her into a bitter woman, which in turn made you not like either of them. The insight into life in the 1950 and 60s in Naples is very interesting, and shockingly very tough and violent and not so great if you are a female. However the books are a clever depiction of a lifelong relationship between two friends and the determination of 2 characters who aim to succeed. You start with the first one, My Brilliant Friend – it takes a while to remember who all the characters are, but fortunately there is a cast list at the beginning that you can always refer to. I am not a big reader, usually reading before I go to sleep, so it did take me a year to finish the 4 books, so that didn’t help. I am now embarking on 2 books, again both gifts ‘Friendship’ by Rose Tremain and ‘The Riviera Set’ by Mary S Lovell about Maxine Elliott. I shall tell you if they are worth reading.
Ellie and Martha – 2 friends taken from my Floral Glimpses book.