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Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante
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Troubling Love (original 1992; edition 2006)

by Elena Ferrante (Author), Ann Goldstein (Translator)

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3851242,143 (3.31)36
Member:bklynbiblio
Title:Troubling Love
Authors:Elena Ferrante (Author)
Other authors:Ann Goldstein (Translator)
Info:Europa Editions (2006), 139 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, Italian

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Troubling Love by Elena Ferrante (1992)

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» See also 36 mentions

English (7)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Although not such a rich, satisfying book as the ones that make up the Neapolitan Quartet this short mysterious book still feels very 'Ferrante'. It is claustrophobic, sweaty, confusing as Delia wanders through Naples trying to piece together her mothers last hours and years as well as her own childhood memories. It has the same brutal honesty about family, and the same backdrop of entwined relationships spanning more than one generation. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Apr 22, 2018 |
elena ferrante truly has a handle on the emotionally dark and twisty natures people possess. humans are complicated and difficult to fully know, while at the same time one's own identity can be inconsistent and confusing. ferrante's style, through this translation, is sparse and compelling. but even with this sense of sparseness in the writing, there is depth and so much to think about with nearly every sentence. ferrante also gives such a strong sense of place in her stories, something i really enjoy in fiction. i read this over a few hours and it felt right for this work, which - though memories of the past are interspersed - mostly takes place over a 24-hour period of time.

i did not quite love this as much as the The Neapolitan Novels, but it is still a strong work from ferrante, and i liked going further back in her work. i also quite liked some of the same themes being explored here as in her later books. ( )
1 vote Booktrovert | Jun 19, 2016 |
Death both ends and initiates. Here, the sudden death by drowning of the 63-year-old, Amalia, brings her tortured life to an end. But it also sets her 45-year-old oldest daughter, Delia, on a harrowing journey as she returns to the Naples of her childhood, both physically and in unwieldy memory. The city heaves, sweaty body on sweaty body, in a claustrophobia-inducing press, sometimes violent, always lustful and threatening. Delia struggles to come to grips with why her mother ended up where she did, who might have been with her, and, more important, what might have driven her, even chased her down the long years of estrangement from her brutal and brutalizing husband.

Very little is as it seems, however, the connection between Delia and Amalia is certain, not just in their shared appearance but in the history that binds them. This is writing at its harrowing best, not surprising perhaps with Elena Ferrante at the helm. Noir lighting and neo-realist melodrama clash with a frank sexual tempo that reduces women, especially, to little more than their clothes. Or frees them. The possibility exists. In either case it is a tense and sometimes uncomfortable journey that will leave you wondering where you’ve got to and whether you lost yourself along the way.

Definitely recommended. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Oct 30, 2014 |
Mother disappears and is found washed up on a beach wearing little but a fancy lace bra from a well known Naples lingerie shop. Strange, because she is a seamstress so poor she mends her panties to make them last just a bit longer.

Daughter Dellia traces mother's last steps, and in a style that seems like murder mystery within a dream, within a troubled psyche, one senses what it must be like for an adult to tense up with old childhood nightmares, old scenes of parental violence, childhood fears that have partially come true. There are inescapable physical similarites between mother and daughter that play into Delia's life, giving a sense of futility to her own identity struggle. Can a daughter escape in her own life the worst parts of a mother's complicated, not always happy life? Good question.

The style reminds me of Margaret Atwood, in scene setting, in psychological scene shifting, moving between physical reality and dream reality. Kudos, Elena Ferrante, whoever you are. ( )
  grheault | Feb 5, 2013 |
Ho scoperto la Ferrante leggendo “La figlia oscura” , un libro che mi e’ piaciuto moltissimo e sull’ onda del piacere di questa scoperta ho iniziato a leggere “L’ amore molesto” con tante aspettative, purtroppo andate deluse.

Rapporto madre –figlia contorto, la trama ed i personaggi sono eccessivi e subdoli, ed il tutto e’ ambientato in una Napoli volutamente cupa ed angosciante. Saranno state troppo elevate le mie aspettative, ma questa storia morbosa e questo rincorrere biancheria sporca proprio non mi sono piaciuti.

( )
  mara4m | Jun 8, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
As Delia tries to reconstruct her mother’s last days, slowly stitching together the events of that night, she ends up in an unknown place—the dark closet of history—where she encounters the abusive men of her own and of her mother’s past: her uncle, her father, their friend Caserta, and Caserta’s son Antonio. As we travel farther into Delia’s memories, we are sucked into a whirlwind of obsession, love, jealousy, fear, and sexual abuse.
 
Ferrante's polished language belies the rawness of her imagery, which conveys perversity, violence, and bodily functions in ripe detail. Delia's discovery of the secret of her childhood is made all the more jarring by the story's disorienting mixture of fantasy and reality.
added by ScattershotSteph | editThe New Yorker (Oct 22, 2006)
 
“Troubling Love” is soggy with tears — and the blank mood that follows a good long cry — but you can’t isolate the source of the weeping.
 
Anyone expecting a classic mystery story to ensue will soon be disoriented. Narrator Delia’s investigation swiftly turns into a feverish, often hallucinatory journey through childhood haunts and memories.
 
In tactile, beautifully restrained prose, Ferrante makes the domestic violence that tore the household apart evident, including the child Delia's attempts to guard her mother from the beatings of her father. By the time of the denouement, Ferrante has forcefully delineated how the complicity in violence against women perpetuates a brutal cycle of repetition and silence.
added by ScattershotSteph | editPublishers Weekly (Jun 26, 2006)
 

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elena Ferranteprimary authorall editionscalculated
Goldstein, AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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My mother drowned on the night of May 23rd, my birthday, in the sea at a place called Spaccavento, a few miles from Minturno.
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"Following her mother's untimely death, Delia sets off on a breathtaking odyssey through the chaotic, suffocating streets of her native Naples in search of the truth about her family. Reality is buried in the fertile soil of memory, and Delia digs deep to reconcile the past with the mysterious events leading up to her mother's death. Spurred by a series of anonymous telephone calls, Delia reconstructs her mother's final days and with every new discovery must face the possibility that her mother was not at all the person Delia imagined her to be. To learn the truth and to untangle the knot of lies, passions and memories that bind mother and daughter, Delia must return to her roots, to the Naples of her childhood."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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