The Lying Life of Adults by  Elena Ferrante

The Lying Life of Adults

Elena Ferrante

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.

Extract

Instead, I preserved with Ida.

'So even Mariano is a pig?'

'Of course, he goes to bed with your mother.'

I started, I said coldly:

'They see each other sometimes, but it's friendship.'

'I think they're just friends, too,' Angela intervened.

Ida shook her head energetically; repeating decisively; they're not just friends. And she exclaimed:

'I won't kiss a man, it's disgusting.'

'Not even a nice one like Tonino?' asked Angela.

'No, I'll only kiss women. You want to hear a story I wrote?'

'No,' said Angela.

I stared in silence at Ida's shoes which were green. I remembered that her father had looked at my cleavage.

Parallels
  • Little Women by Louisa M Alcott
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
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Explicit sexual content