Top 10 Reasons to Read Elena Ferrante's Modern Classic "Neapolitan Novels"

Tags: #NeapolitanNovels ,   #ElenaFerrante ,   #MyBrilliantFriend

Scarlett Goldstein

Scarlett Goldstein

Last updated:  2021-09-30 14:34:21

Even though social media enables additional promotional activities nowadays, it's still hard to have a global breakthrough with your novel. That's why what happened to Elena Ferrante and her four-part literary work "Neapolitan Novels" is a pure miracle! Everyone went crazy over this addictive and realistic story overnight, and now it's one of the best book series ever! If you still haven't checked it out, we're going to make you want to do it with these 10 apparent reasons! Oh, and optionally make a popular local sweet to enjoy it even more.

10. It's So Addictive You Won't Put It Down

If the word "addictive" catches your eye, then check some other unputdownable hits

This shouldn't be the number one reason to start reading a book… Still, "Neapolitan Novels" are incredibly captivating and addictive. That's especially important if you're suffering from reader's block, because as soon as you open the first book, "My Brilliant Friend," you'll keep turning the pages... One after another, until you fall asleep!

We don't know if this magic lies in the structure, how Ferrante builds the tension, or something else, but you just keep wondering what happens next until you turn the page. This is not one of these four-part novels where you read one piece and then the second one a year later. Trust us, you'll finish it in five days!

9. It's a Trend That's Worth the Hype

"Worth the hype" is actually not so rare, although people tend to skip these books

You know that feeling when a book or a TV show like Game of Thrones becomes so popular you get sick of it and decide to skip it? This is because people are getting on your nerves talking about it all the time. That's what happened to Elena Ferrante and her highly-acclaimed four books, starting with "My Brilliant Friend." People are discussing this novel just everywhere!

Nevertheless, don't let that hype ruin your excitement, as the hype is real! Yes, sometimes you just get disappointed because you didn't like something that impressed the whole world. Still, we're sure "Neapolitan Novels" are the real quality content you should have on your bookshelf. Give it a chance already!

8. Get to Know Italy, Its Beautiful and Ugly Side

Naples is in the south of Italy – its poorest, but also one of the most beautiful parts, and Ferrante displays exactly that

Italy is absolutely one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Each of its cities including Rome is enchanting for its architecture and an incredible story that lies behind it. Visiting Naples is always a good idea, and not only for fans of Maradona who is worshipped like a god there. However, if you can't book your trip right now, it's OK to read Ferrante's "Neapolitan stories" and let yourself get carried away!

Now you're probably wondering where is the "ugly" we mentioned in the title. Well, there is always the "ugly" to make beautiful things shine more. That's what Ferrante points out in this story since she's displaying the mentality of Italy's society and how it deals with specific controversial themes and life events. Many things will disgust you, but art is here to remind us of both beautiful and ugly!

7. It Has an Intriguing TV Show Version

The show is authentic and sticks to the book's plot

First and foremost, nothing can beat a well-written novel, penned in the first person, with the passion and the authentic feeling the character transmits. So, please, read the book first! Nevertheless, if you get so caught up, we want to show you a TV version of the book.

The show is very fresh and newly-produced, but it stays loyal to Ferrante's imagination. The girls who play Lila and Elena are pretty much what we expected visually, and the other actors did an undoubtedly outstanding job! If you watched the show already, let us know if you liked it – the critic's reviews are overall brilliant!

6. The Characters Are Very Authentic and Memorable

Hear more about the characters in this guide

You know those books that have a great plot that keeps you interested, but you can't seem to like any persona? "Neapolitan Novels" simply can't relate since its characters are so freakingly captivating! Lenù is a great friend, talented and curious woman, with exceptional advice to tell you throughout the novel – you have to like her!

Furthermore, you'll catch yourself obsessing over Lila as well, admiring her boldness and the way she seems to rise after every storm. The other characters are also very authentic, unlike anything you've read, with their flaws and problems just like we have them. You'll memorize them all at the very beginning, and you even get a list of them on the first page!

5. It's So Personal That It's Like You're Reading a Diary

How significant is it to you that a novel feels personal?

The novel is penned from Lenù's perspective, but that shouldn't be much of a big deal since writing in the first person became a massive trend. People love the first-person narration because it's easier for them to relate to the character's feelings, thoughts, and wishes, as we're all humans with the same desires.

However, Elena Ferrante really went far with her "intimate" way of narrating! As you're reading, you'll move closer and closer to Lenù's deepest wishes and fears, and you'll barely have an idea that she's only a book character. It's beyond personal! Maybe we get this feeling because Elena Ferrante used this story as her personal diary. Didn't she name the girl Elena, after all?

4. Their Life Events are Absolutely Realistic 

"Realistic fiction" sounds contradictory, but it exists!

Relating to the story is something we've already mentioned. To make it even more transparent, we compared the book with a diary. Well, that's because the situations that make the characters grow are so realistic. There is nothing in these four novels that is abstract or incomprehensible!

Harassment, double standards, falling in love with your friend's crush… Or even worse, with the love of their life? It's all more often and happens around us all the time. Lila and Elena's friendship is rare instead, but don't we all remember a childhood friend like that? The social classes, daily struggles, and not to mention the historical background!

3. A Real Friendship Is In the Focus

Although these are rarer than love books, there are many good recommendations!

We're used to the novels that revolve around troubled relationships, love triangles, and destructive romantic feelings in general. Yes, you'll find all these motifs in "Neapolitan Novels" as well. Nonetheless, the main point here is actually the friendship between Lila and Elena. It's kind of atypical to see a book about pure friendship becoming a hit!

Just like with every friendship, Lila and Elena face many troubles and boundaries they have to break. As life goes on, they eventually grow apart as well. However, the whole story's recurring theme is their inevitable will to get back to each other. It's like they're fighting against the world all the time, sometimes separated, but always in each other's thoughts. Bonds like this are forever!

2. Growing Up? Been There, Done That

Meet the cast of the show, and especially the girls that display Lila and Elena's growth

What makes this story so realistic is the events that happen to our main girls. Not only to them but also to the minor characters! Aging is inevitable, even though we wish the time could stop. In many novels, time seems like it doesn't even pass. However, Ferrante's story takes the responsibility of growing up and the changes our bodies and minds have to take.

As you're going further into the story, you'll simply realize how time in Naples and in the characters' lives passes and how it leaves scars on all of them. Adolescence teaches Lila and Lenù things we all had to learn at some point. You'll see how life kept affecting both, so eventually, one day, you'll probably say "been there, done that" for everything they go through.

1. We're All Either Lila or Lenù

This heart-warming edit will remind you of the pureness of this friendship

…Or both! Life makes us do things we thought we never would accept. Living is relentless, and it slaps us all in the face, so it happened to both Lila and Lenù, but in different ways. Their path is entirely dissimilar in education, love life, and stages when they achieved things. However, somehow you'll catch yourself relating to both of them, just like we all love to feel that character bonding!

If you feel like you can control your destiny in all the situations, and if you're sure you'll do things right all the time… It probably won't be like that. You'll make mistakes, but they will pave a new path in your life. In a way, that's both a curse and a blessing, just like our two girls had unfortunate but also the most extraordinary life circumstances.

Are you still unsure whether this captivating story is worth spending a week reading it? Hopefully not, because there are even more than 10 reasons to visit your nearest library today and start your day by reading "Neapolitan Novels." You're about to meet your future favorite characters, following them from childhood to old age, feeling like you're their friend!

If you've already read "Neapolitan Novels," Which part did you like the most? Which character touched your heart more, Lila or Elena?

Photos: Pixabay


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