06 BOOK: The Lying Life of Adults

January 22, 2024

Elena Ferrante (Naples, Italy), 2020

Confession: I devoured this book.

Meeting Giovanna, the protagonist of this story, has been an enormous pleasure, sparking reflections and stirring up memories. When did we discover the lying life of adults? What were those moments when we uncovered the hidden truths our parents and close ones concealed?

This book delves into those discoveries. Naples is the backdrop for this novel about an ostensibly ‘good’ family shaken by its past and deceptions. The plot is as intense as Giovanna herself. It all begins when she overhears a comment from her father about her appearance, setting off a storm that will completely alter the family dynamic. Giovanna confronts her story while navigating between the two faces of Naples in search of answers and solace. In the process, she inadvertently hurts herself, believing she’s harming those who hurt her, unaware that she’s starting to become what she once despised.

How did I come across this book?

Well, I was swayed by a recommendation from a writer I follow on social media. Though I often disagree with his viewpoints, I trust his judgment regarding good books. So, when he said, “Contemporary life is much richer if you include Elena Ferrante’s works,” I decided to heed his advice and bought two books (yes, two, because of my obsessions). I didn’t seek any additional information, and looking back, if I had, I might have reconsidered my decision. It wasn’t until I finished reading the book and searched more about Elena Ferrante that I realised she’s a mysterious writer who prefers anonymity and writes under a pseudonym.

I must admit, initially, I wasn’t keen on reading a ‘mysterious’ writer because I disliked the thought of a book being a product of artificial intelligence (which is unlikely given the publication date). Moreover, I wouldn’t like to discover that this author’s books are merely products of a publishing company seeking to sell certain contents. I’m hopeful that whoever is behind Elena Ferrante is simply someone who genuinely loves writing and isn’t seeking the limelight of this consumerist world. Hopefully.

How to complement this book?

This book is an easy read, gripping, and pairs well with the Netflix series. While the series closely follows each page of the book, personally, I enjoyed reading the book before watching the series.

Thanks for your 5 minutes reading, have a wonderful day! 😘

P.S. See you soon with the second Elena Ferrante book I purchased. 🙌🏽

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