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I Giorni Dell'abbandono by Elena Ferrante
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I Giorni Dell'abbandono (edition 2002)

by Elena Ferrante

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Title:I Giorni Dell'abbandono
Authors:Elena Ferrante
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The Days of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante

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English (9)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Olga and Mario have been married for 15 years, when one day, out of the blue, he announces that he has another woman and is leaving. The reality of the abandonment is devastating, and the book is a testament to Olga’s gut-wrenching struggle in the face of the rejection she feels.

I read this book in a day and was taken by Ferrante’s ability to capture the raw pain and incapacitation of this woman; the depths she plunges to as she struggles to find her way out of the quagmire that is her new reality. The writing is sparse and unsentimental but the internal battle she wages is real and staggering.

Ferrante is apparently a reclusive but celebrated Italian author who refuses interviews about her books. This book was lucid, intensely personal, and profoundly honest – sometimes uncomfortably so. Ferrante got to the heart of Olga’s pain to such an extent, I wondered if it was biographical. ( )
  akeela | Dec 26, 2013 |
At the outset of The Days of Abandonment, the narrator’s husband announces that he wants to leave her. His announcement is void of emotion, reminiscent of Camus’ Meursault. His declaration is also entwined with self-serving professions of his own confusion and weariness after fifteen years of marriage. His wife is bemused at first, confident that he will come to his senses. Only gradually does it become plain to her that she has been abandoned, dispensed with, and – with the dawning realization that he has been involved in an affair for more than five years – humiliated. What begins in near tranquillity rapidly transforms as the narrator’s passion takes hold and rends her very sanity in response to her husband’s betrayal. It is a startling descent and entirely riveting. The narrator plummets to an almost bestial level only to, through the force of her own will, reascend, to rebuild her shattered sense of self, and reclaim her equilibrium.

Ferrante displays remarkable control here with her narrator. She never slips into parody, both conforming to stereotypes of the “abandoned woman” (here modelled on a particular abandoned woman from the narrator’s childhood thirty years previous) while at the same time aggressively attacking those stereotypes. It is fabulous writing. The lengthy description of the day in August during which her “madness” comes to a head whilst events conspire to send her almost beyond redemption is harrowing.

The ability that Ferrante displays in bringing her protagonist back from the brink is nothing short of astonishing. She avoids magical solutions as well as crassly romantic ones. And by the end we are certain that we are dealing with a narrator, and no doubt an author, who is entirely whole, grounded, and clear-sighted. Highly recommended. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Jul 13, 2013 |
Extremely depressing Italian novel about a woman's decent into madness and recovery after her husband leaves her. Very compelling and well written. ( )
  Marzia22 | Apr 3, 2013 |
When my husand leaves, who am I? Thrown off kilter, deck of cards identity toppled, pieces scattered about, the main character loses her bearings even though she is now the primary caretaker of two impressionable young children who sense that something is wrong with Mamma. Mamma is dangerous, not dealing, off somewhere, and she is not reliable or safe. How awful for a child.

And its no picnic for Olga who has never gotten a stable sense of herself either before marriage or in marriage, who obsesses on the other woman, who suspects neighbors of evil intent. How lonely for an adult.

Abandonment by husband, abandonment as a child, its a nightmare lived in full daylight by a woman who is losing all anchor in a storm of major proportions. Excellent view from 'the inside' of what it feels like to be in this waking dream, and how it might feel to work one's way out. Or not. A bit depressing. ( )
  grheault | Feb 19, 2013 |
Another raw and unflinching novel about being a woman, a wife and a mother from Elena Ferrante, Days of Abandonment is about a woman whose husband leaves her for a younger woman, how she falls apart and how she sews herself and her family back together stitch by stitch. Olga is 38 when her husband leaves her; she has two small children, one of whom falls sick along with the family dog. She goes a little crazy, sinks into herself and when she swims back up, the world is transformed. It was a hard book to read and also a hard book to put down.
see my full review: http://www.bostonbibliophile.com/2012/10/review-days-of-abandonment-by-elena.htm... ( )
  bostonbibliophile | Aug 2, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elena Ferranteprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Goldstein, AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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One April afternoon, right after lunch, my husband announced that he wanted to leave me.
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Once an aspiring writer, Olga traded literary ambition for marriage and motherhood; when Mario dumps her after 15 years, she is utterly unprepared. Though she tells herself that she is a competent woman, nothing like the poverella (poor abandoned wife) that mothers whispered about in her childhood, Olga falls completely apart. Routine chores overwhelm her; she neglects her appearance and forgets her manners; she throws herself at the older musician downstairs; she sees the poverella's ghost. After months of self-pity, anger, doubt, fury, desperation and near madness, her acknowledgments of weaknesses in the marriage feel as earned as they are unsurprising.… (more)

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