I read the first 40 pages of The Lying Life of Adults. I’ve read most of Elena Ferrante’s fiction and non-fiction. It was to me a familiar story of Neapolitan middle-class life in a fashionable apartment. A brilliant father who studies and lectures and publishes. A beautiful mother, who is also brilliant, but less so, being a woman. And an insecure daughter that needs to be both brilliant and beautiful and fears she is nearer. Imagines herself to be kin to her father’s sister Aunt Vittoria who has been erased from family photographs by her brother.
Why did I give up?
I’ve read it before, or feel that I have, which is much the same thing. I guess as authors we write the same story again and again until we get it right. Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend, had already done so. This feels to me not so brilliant. Maybe I’m wearied and you’ll feel differently. Read on.