Bildungsroman. Bildungsroman, bildungsroman, bildungsroman. That is just a fun word to say. Does it make an interesting and/or worthwhile reading experience? I dunno.
I struggled with this. Elena (our narrator) and Lila (lets be honest: the object of her desire) are the most grating and annoying characters I have spent time with recently. Is it the fact that I am decades beyond what these girls are dealing with in their emotional and intellectual lives? Is it because I’ve read the Knausgaards and have become enamored with that series that I can’t see the art here? Do I have some kind of a deficiency when it comes to “women’s literature?”
I don’t know. All I know is that this book was a freaking slog. I could see the artistry, Ferrante (or whatever her name actually is) does have a way with language. I just couldn’t get on board with these characters. Man, whenever the narrator had some inflated annoyance to impart, or detailed the life in the neighborhood, my eyes just glazed over. A lot of work was put into explaining what was happening but it only served to irritate me.
To be honest, I only finished this for the Cannonball and because I have the next two crammed among the Books to Read Next Pile. I hope I have a better experience with the next one. Yeesh.