The Lying Life of Adults is the new novel from the author of the hugely popular Neapolitan Quartet.
"Two years before leaving home, my father said to my mother that I was very ugly. The sentence was uttered under his breath, in the apartment that my parents, newly married, had bought in Rione Alto, at the top of Via San Giacomo dei Capri. Everything - the spaces of Naples, the blue light of a very cold February, those words - remained fixed. But I slipped away, and am still slipping away, within these lines that are intended to give me a story, while in fact I am nothing, nothing of my own, nothing that has really begun or really been brought to completion: only a tangled knot, and nobody, not even the one who at this moment is writing, knows if it contains the right thread for a story or is merely a snarled confusion of suffering, without redemption."
Giovanna's pretty face has changed: it's turning into the face of an ugly, spiteful adolescent. But is she seeing things as they really are? Into which mirror must she look to find herself and save herself?
She is searching for a new face in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, which professes to be a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, the city seems to offer no answer and no escape.
Modern, urgent, truthful. -- Lucy Hughes-Hallett * The Telegraph * Elena Ferrante is an expert chronicler of adolescence and its many indignities, as well as its erratic, overwhelming passions. * The Observer * Ferrante is unbeatable at pulling you inside the mind of a teenage girl, making you see how everything that looks irrational from the outside - the moods, the silences, the jealousy, tears, fears and resentments - are utterly logical and reasonable. * The Times * Layer by layer, piece by piece, with her customary deftness, Ferrante builds up her story, introducing new characters and bits of information, as Giovanna's once safe and sane world becomes ever more slippery.... Ferrante has a voice very much her own. * The TLS * The Lying Life of Others has the magnitude of great literature - from Balzac to Stendhal to the always beloved Proust. It is a necessary book. * Il Manifesto *