The Lying Life of Adults

Elena Ferrante – 3/5 Stars

 Read this if you:
· have ever contemplated living in small-town Italy
· felt like an awkward teenager
· enjoy a descriptive setting while reading

When Giovanna overhears her father talking about how her face is turning ugly and she looks like her Aunt Vittoria, she is determined to get to know this woman that her parents despise. As she tries to uncover the truth behind the strife in her family, she starts to learn that not everyone is as trustworthy as she thought.

My thoughts on the book:
In short, this book is about a terribly dysfunctional family. I felt as though there wasn’t enough background provided to understand how everyone got to this point of messiness, everything just sort of falls apart at one point in the book. Giovanna was initially a relatable teenaged character and then at some point she just decides that she wants to watch the world burn and she becomes a bit of a monster, again with seemingly no reason for her actions. She actually became so unlikeable by the end of the story, I started to really not care how things turned out for her. Overall the characters weren’t very well developed and I didn’t feel as though I cared about them very much. I feel as though Ferrante is just not for me – I’ve tried getting into her Neapolitan series and couldn’t get through the first chapter of the first book.
The actual writing in this book is what kept me interested. Everything is described beautifully, with enough detail that I was able to picture most of the settings vividly. Although the story was more character driven than plot driven, the book moved along at a fast enough pace that I kept pushing through it.

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