Yes, I can read! LOL. So, recently I became obsessed with Elena’s Ferrante Italian tetralogy, or the 4 books about Elena Greco and Raffaella Cerullo. The first book “My brilliant friend” talks about their childhood, the second one “The story of a new name” is about when the girls are teenagers, the third one “Those who leave and those who stay” takes place in the adulthood and in the last one “The story of the lost child” we found out about their old age. If you read a serious review of the books will find out that they also talks a lot about politics in Italy and in some point in the world, but I was so obsessed with the main story that I won’t talk about it.
I may tell some spoilers now
I have this flaw that I always get the main character. I don’t know why but when I’m reading a book and the narrator is the same as the character I often understand and forgive them. In this book it happens too. I get Elena. Yes, she is a horrible person sometimes, and in some aspects of my life I feel closer to Lina (Raffaella), but I don’t know if is the fact that Elena studies a lot, reads a lot, do stupid things when jealous that I relate so much to her. Actually, the only thing that I don’t relate is her feeling about Lina. She sees Lina as this super smart woman and feels that she needs to battle a lot to overcome her. I don’t recall feeling that way about anyone. Not anyone close to me. Of course I look to some people, some college professors, some very intelligent people and feel a little less smart or competent, but never happen to feel this way about a close friend. And this feeling, I believe, is the main problem about their relationship. Elena doesn’t know who to be friends with Lina. They have a weird friendship in which they hide secrets. For example, Elena is in love with Nino, this guy son of a man who left the neighborhood, and she never tells it to Lina. At some point in the story Lina and Nino have an affair and Elena begin to hate them. And I don’t know, but it would be a lot easier if Lina had always knew about how Elena felt. Maybe she would be the kind of friend who puts herself before her friends, or maybe not. We’ll never know for sure. Will always imagine how she is, because if Elena never tells nothing to Lina, Lina acts the same way. We can only assume who Lina was based on what Elena says. It’s like I feel about Capitu. We don’t know Capitu, we know what Bentinho tells us. And he is a spoiled little brat.
I resent Elena a little bit because she leaves her family. But I kind of get it. It is really complicated to help our family when we are still getting our own shit together. But I don’t know, I guess if she wasn’t so obsessed about Lina, she might have helped her sister more. And her father is the one who insist on her continuing her studies and she kind of leave him completely out of her mind at the end. Maybe it is what will happen to her in her last years since her daughters left her to live with her ex-husband.
The good thing about Elena is that she made me feel a lot more closer to older women. I always felted like I was this kind of young woman playing the part of an adult woman, but reading the books I felt like she was clueless just like me. And she represents the women who were born in the 50’s or 60’s. I always thought this women have always been women. Had always knew about how to be an adult. And living in the internet in my late 20’s and early 30’s is knowing that everyone with my age feels like a clueless teenager pretending to be an adult. And it is nice to know that at some point I’ll be this 40 years old lady with a family, an important job, being respected and that all my insecurities helped me to become this person.