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The Story of the Lost Child: Neapolitan Novels, Book Four (2015)

by Elena Ferrante

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Neapolitan Novels (4)

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2,7041055,483 (4.27)155
Fiction. Literature. HTML:

The Story of the Lost Child concludes the dazzling saga of two womenthe brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lilawho first met amid the shambles of postwar Italy.

In this book, life's great discoveries have been made; its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, Elena and Lila's friendship remains the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. But now, she has returned to Naples to be with the man she has always loved.

Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from Naples. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Yet, somehow, this proximity to a world she has always rejected only brings her role as unacknowledged leader of that world into relief.

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» See also 155 mentions

English (83)  German (7)  Italian (5)  French (3)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Catalan (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (105)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
Összértékelés, mert nem írtam külön a kötetekről. Olyasmi a viszonyom ezzel a sorozattal, mint a két főszereplőnek egymással. Ellenszenvesek voltak a szereplők, nagyon sokáig nem tudtam azonosulni senkivel, mégis úgy sodort, hogy hajnalba nyúlóan olvastam, a második-harmadik-negyedik köteteket egymás után. (Az első olvasása idején még nem jelent meg a második magyarul.)

A társadalmi és a lelki nyomor, a bántalmazás, az erőszak természetessége, a kapcsolataik nyomora, ahogy mindenkiről lehull az álarc, ahogy lehúz a kilátástalanság. Elment az életkedvem tőle, annyira a legrosszabb, legkiábrándítóbb arcát mutatja a valóságnak. Fantasztikusan megírt baromi kellemetlen közeg. Azért sem tudtam letenni, hogy szabadulhassak végre ebből a világból.

Kevés olyan szereplőt tudnék mondani, akit nem a kisebbrendűségi komplexusa irányított, nem volt jó köztük. A mérgező, bántalmazó kapcsolatok hálójában aztán amikor azonosulási pontot találtam, azt rögtön sejtettem, hogy nem fogom zsebre tenni, amit kapok. A Ninók pöcsfejek, nincs kivétel, hiába hiszi minden ostoba liba, hogy vele aztán tényleg más.

Nagyon ügyesen voltak beleszőve a politikai események, mozgalmak, a technikai változások. Na és a drámai csúcspont, ugye. Ami nincs elvarrva, megmagyarázva, megoldva. Hiába szeretne az olvasó - a szereplőkkel együtt - magyarázatot. Általában a valóságot szeretem olvasni. Ez annyira kőkeményen az volt, hogy most pihenésképp olvasnék valami kellemes hazugságot. ( )
  blueisthenewpink | Jan 3, 2024 |
I am going to miss Lila and Lenu!! Very powerful and beautiful. Loved it and was happy that the story finished so strongly. ( )
  RachelGMB | Dec 27, 2023 |
The Story of the Lost Child is the brilliant conclusion of the life long friendship between the narrator Elena and her best friend Lila. In the first novel of the series the prologue served to demonstrate how loss would be a common theme in all four novels, when an aging Lila simply goes missing. In this final novel, Lila literally looses her little girl Tina in the the local park. But metaphorically speaking, in many ways, right from the first novel, when they were just little girls, Lila was a lost child. She was a fascinating character, but led her entire life surrounded by sadness, simply unable to escape it's evil and ruthless, emotional clutches. ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
And so this epic tale of two women, friends for 60 years, comes to an end. This volume, which includes the period in which Elena and Lila are my age, women with careers, growing children and complicated relationships with men, resonates with me perhaps more than the other books did. Here the story begins to ruminate in earnest, as Elena contemplates her past and future with the eyes of someone who has truly lived. It also reveals more than ever the depth of the clear-eyed storytelling throughout the three previous volumes as well. In the last few chapters I came to understand why, in the very earliest pages of the first book, Elena discards the manuscript that Lila sent her (an act I'd all but forgotten but whose significance, like the Scouring of the Shire, requires the consumption of the whole story to understand). I marked one passage in the text, from page 221, after Elena's mother dies: "Right after her funeral I felt the way you feel when it suddenly starts raining hard, and you look around and find no place to take shelter." Gorgeous, evocative and simple language that expresses the very heart of an idea is the hallmark of this and all the Neapolitan novels. Everyone should read them. ( )
  karenchase | Jun 14, 2023 |
L'ultimo capitolo della tetralogia della Ferrante è il libro della maturità, dove le emozioni si fanno, se possibile, ancora più intese. Qui l'amicizia di Elena e Lila vivrà l'ultima stagione, forse quella che le vede più vicine ma anche la più difficile e densa di avvenimenti e sconvolgimenti.
Una storia intensa, bellissima, che mi ha stretto a sé come poche e dove le vicende narrate non risultano mai fini a stesse ma riescono, anzi, ad insinuarsi in te fino quasi a farle sembrare reali. E quando termini la lettura senti improvvisa la mancanza, come se in quel momento avessi perso delle persone care di cui sai di non poter fare a meno.
Ho amato tutto di questi libri e credo che anche il finale, molto toccante e sfuggente al tempo stesso, sia il più giusto per questa storia e per queste due donne così diverse e così unite ma al tempo stesso così divise e distanti: Elena, che pur nelle sue insicurezze riesce a raggiungere traguardi importanti sulla spinta dell'amica, e Lila, troppo sensibile e intelligente per poter essere mai veramente felice.
Lo stile è sempre quello, fluido, pulito, scorrevole, avvincente, tanto da farti leggere pagine su pagine senza interruzione alcuna.
Un'ultima considerazione sulla scrittrice: sapere chi sia realmente la Ferrante non credo sia sostanziale né cambierà di sicuro la forza e la bellezza di questi libri, per me sarà sempre una donna che ha vissuto in prima persona nell'epoca raccontata dai libri, forse non queste storie, ma sicuramente i luoghi narrati.
Per me quattro libri indimenticabili, senza ombra di dubbio alcuna. ( )
  Raffaella10 | Jan 28, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
Ferrante evokes this unforgiving and opaque culture with great power. Its malevolence affects almost everyone.
 
Ferrante’s accomplishment in these novels is to extract an enduring masterpiece from dissolving margins, from the commingling of self and other, creator and created, new and old, real and whatever the opposite of real may be.
 
[Ferrante] has charted, as precisely as possible, the shifts in one person’s feelings and perceptions about another over time, and in so doing has made a life’s inferno recede even as she captures its roar.
 
Elena brings up every objection to the entire endeavour that a reader might have. If it is so-called auto-fiction then why is it not a mess, like life? If it is the story of a friendship then isn’t every word a betrayal to that friend? If it is sincere and authentic, why is the author’s name on the cover a lie? Borders between autobiography and fiction dissolve, just as the edges of Lila (both her sanity and her body) blur, and Elena provides a continual commentary on this process. Rather than this being annoying and meta, the effect is to make the writing feel alive.
 
Ferrante is no Balzac or Dickens or Trollope; she is not Zola or Tolstoy. Her narrator does not have the storyteller’s wider vision. Unlike War and Peace, Ferrante’s big book has a narrow lens, and her idea of friendship is more about shared experience than affection.
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ferrante, ElenaAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Damien, ElsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goldstein, AnnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krieger, KarinÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laake, Marieke vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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From October 1976 until 1979, when I returned to Naples to live, I avoided resuming a steady relationship with Lila.
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There is this presumption, in those who feel destined for art and above all literature: we act as if we had received an investiture, but in fact no one has ever invested us with anything, it is we who have authorized ourselves to be authors and yet we are resentful if others say: This little thing you did doesn't interest me, in fact it bores me, who gave you the right.
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:

The Story of the Lost Child concludes the dazzling saga of two womenthe brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery, uncontainable Lilawho first met amid the shambles of postwar Italy.

In this book, life's great discoveries have been made; its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, Elena and Lila's friendship remains the gravitational center of their lives. Both women once fought to escape the neighborhood in which they grew up. Elena married, moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books. But now, she has returned to Naples to be with the man she has always loved.

Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from Naples. She has become a successful entrepreneur, but her success draws her into closer proximity with the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighborhood. Yet, somehow, this proximity to a world she has always rejected only brings her role as unacknowledged leader of that world into relief.

.

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