not contained in this children’s novel.
A few weeks back someone reviewed the weird train book from Stephen King’s The Wastelands that provides a creepy atmospheric mythos to the journey at the heart of the longer novel. In a strange way, this little children’s book, which you COULD conceivably read to children if you wanted, does the same thing.
Three things that Elena Ferrante writes a lot about are lost kids (metaphorically and literally), dolls, and shoes. This book has all three, but the lost child is through implication of her longer novel, the narrator is the doll, and the shoes are only in the pictures.
Elena Ferrante is the real deal. Like for real. Her three early novels are all varying shades of very good, with The Days of Abandonment being the only one I generally recommend to people as an introduction or who have her her name but don’t want to commit just yet. And of course its normal-looking cover is also more inviting than the divisive and purposely misleading covers of the Neapolitan Quartet. But people should absolutely read her novels and see for themselves just how amazing she is. I honestly think she should and could win the Nobel at some point for the ways in which she has captured a place, a time, an ethos, and basically blown writing out of the water.
This book is not any part of that. But it’s a kind of funny diversion that takes 10 minutes to read and casts an eerie light on her other early novel The Lost Daughter. I am not going to assign it stars though.