I seem to be continuing my series of books about abandoned women. I’d heard Ferrante’s name floating around enough that I became intrigued. I decided to try a stand alone book first before I thought about embarking on her Neapolitan novels. It didn’t hurt that the blurb on this one is from Jhumpa Lahiri.

This is an amazing and powerful book right from the very first sentence (expertly translated by Ann Goldstein): “One April afternoon, right after lunch, my husband announced that he wanted to leave me.” And thus, the protagonist, Olga, is abandoned and she falls apart. I kept asking myself why a woman falling apart because her husband left her didn’t somehow seem insulting to women. But it doesn’t because Ferrante so carefully explores how very much intertwined couples become, especially when one – in this case, the wife – makes sacrifices for the other.

The sentences are powerful and the story is authentic. I will be starting the Neapolitan novels soon.