This is raw emotion pinned down into precise social context in the Naples of the 1990s - a fast read where you worry for Giovanna on every page. Ferrante is brilliant on sex, friendship, envy, aspiration - complicated and blunt at the same time. It's not just the lies the adults round you tell, it's the lies you tell yourself as you grow up. Can't wait for a sequel.
Instead, I preserved with Ida.
'So even Mariano is a pig?'
'Of course, he goes to bed with your mother.'
I started, I said coldly:
'They see each other sometimes, but it's friendship.'
'I think they're just friends, too,' Angela intervened.
Ida shook her head energetically; repeating decisively; they're not just friends. And she exclaimed:
'I won't kiss a man, it's disgusting.'
'Not even a nice one like Tonino?' asked Angela.
'No, I'll only kiss women. You want to hear a story I wrote?'
'No,' said Angela.
I stared in silence at Ida's shoes which were green. I remembered that her father had looked at my cleavage.