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.
‘Did you see how she batted her eyelashes? And the move with her hand, to smooth her hair? And her voice? Of yes, uh-huh, professor, of course.’
I laughed, really like a child, my old childish admiration for that man was returning. I laughed loudly, but in embarrassment. I didn’t know whether to let go or remind myself that he didn’t deserve that admiration and scold him: you told her that men are always wrong and should assume their responsibilities, but you have never done that with Mamma, or with me. You’re a liar, Papa, a liar who frightens me just because of that good will you can draw out when you want to.